There will be no change to Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate, the Taoiseach told US business leaders in Ireland yesterday.

Enda Kenny gave the reassurance after his first post-Brexit meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce at a business lunch in Cork.

Chamber president, Bob Savage, said the need for certainty in policy and administration to secure current and future inward investment had come into sharp focus in recent weeks in the wake of the UK’s shock Brexit vote.

“The American Chamber believes that competitiveness and certainty of tax policy are necessary to Ireland’s foreign direct investment (FDI) offering,” he said.

And in their pre-budget submission, the chamber, which represents US companies in Ireland employing some 140,000 people, said competitiveness and certainty of tax policy are vital parts of Ireland’s foreign direct investment offering.

After meeting members of the chamber’s board yesterday, Mr Kenny ruled out any question of Ireland’s corporate tax rate being up for negotiation post-Brexit, or following the EU’s tax ruling on US tech giant Apple, which is the subject of an appeal.

“This is the first meeting I have had with the (American Chamber (of Commerce) since the decision on Brexit,” Mr Kenny said.

“I have to say that the American Chamber has given a very strong indication of their continued support for investment in Ireland.

“I have made it perfectly clear, from a tax certainty point of view, that Ireland is absolutely committed to its 12.5% corporation tax rate.

“That will not be changing and that is an important element for consideration with American investors coming here to Ireland.

“From my discussions with the IDA the (foreign direct investment) pipeline is busy up ahead.

“There are matters that we need to attend to in the future in terms of infrastructure, housing and provision of adequate facilities for major companies to do their jobs here.

“There are 175,000 people directly employed in both companies that are both associated with and members of the American Chamber and Irish companies who have invested here.”

Mr Savage welcomed the Taoiseach’s clear statement on corporate tax.

“We appreciate the Taoiseach’s unambiguous declaration that the Government will steadfastly defend our hard-earned reputation as a pro-business country that is defined by fairness and certainty of treatment,” he said.

“We have never seen the competition for US business investment from other regions of the world as intense as it is today. It is essential that we constantly benchmark our competitiveness against the countries that compete with us.”

US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley also attended the event.


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