Noonan backs global war on tax evasion

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan addresses the American Chamber of Commerce's annual Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin yesterday. Picture: Jason Clarke Photography

The Government will continue to look at ways of making the corporate tax regime more competitive while, at the same time, fully co-operating with international efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, said the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan.

“Countries are increasingly competing more and more aggressively for mobile foreign direct investment,” Mr Noonan told the American Chamber of Commerce’s annual Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin. “I want Ireland to play fair — as we have always done — and I want Ireland to play to win,”

“Over the last 12 months, the international rules for taxing multinational companies have been a focus for much debate around the world. Ireland, like all other countries that are successful in attracting foreign direct investment, has been a focus of some commentary. Global challenges require global action. This is happening through the OECD base erosion and profit shifting project, in which Ireland is playing an active part and contributing to improvements.

“I want to repeat what I said on Budget Day: Ireland wants to be part of the solution to this global tax challenge. At the time, I also announced the publication of a new international tax strategy statement which sets out Ireland’s objectives and commitments in relation to these issues.

“The International Tax Strategy sets out a range of ways in which Ireland is playing its part in tackling these international tax challenges, through the EU, the OECD, and, in our national legislation, through changes in the forthcoming Finance Bill.”

Mr Noonan highlighted economic links that exist between the US and Ireland. He noted the 66 new US companies that have located in Ireland over the past 12 months, creating an average 100 jobs each.

He said there has been substantial improvements in the economy over the past 12 months, including an overall rebound in exports and an increase in employment as well as a stabilisation in the property sector. Moreover, the Government’s finances are on track to meet the troika-imposed 3% fiscal deficit target by 2015.

The decision not to seek a precautionary credit line prior to the exit from the EU/IMF bailout was made following widespread consultation.

“We have lived up to our programme commitments, we have stabilised the public finances and restructured the banking sector,” said Mr Noonan. “Recent indicators are showing the continuation of the recovery with higher employment, renewed growth, lower household debt and an underpinning of residential and commercial property values.” <


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