Taoiseach rebukes Macron: Corporate tax rate is our concern

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has delivered a sharp rebuttal to comments from French presidential candidate Macron that Ireland’s corporation tax rates would have to rise.

Speaking after a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mr Kenny said that while he hoped Mr Macron won the election, that our 12.5 corporation tax rate is “our business”.

“I hope that Emmanuel Macron wins the election in France, he is very strongly pro European and he has an understanding of what it is to be a minister for finance. The treaties of the EU set out quite clearly the responsibility of countries as a national competence to deal with their corporate tax,” he said.

“Ireland’s tax rate has been 12.5% for many years across all sectors and it has not moved up, it has not moved down, and it will stay where it is. There have been attempts at this before and suggestions of that before. But that is our business. It is enshrined in the protocol of the treaty, it is a national competence for everyone in the European Union,” he said.

Mr Kenny lashed out at media questions on his pending departure at a frosty press conference in Montreal last night.

Responding to questions from the Irish Examiner, on behalf of the Irish media, Mr Kenny got visibly annoyed at being asked about when he intends departing from office.

“I can’t believe actually that you have travelled this distance to ask a question like that. I have come here to meet with the Canadian Prime Minister and Canadian business to explore the opportunities that exist across the Atlantic for the creation of jobs and investment and to the benefit of Canadians and Irish people. That is my business here. Next question,” he said sharply.

When it was explained to him that the question was being asked on behalf of all Irish media, Mr Kenny replied: “I just said to you I can’t believe you have travelled this distance to ask a question like that. My function here is to have a discussion with the prime minister of Canada to discuss opportunities that present themselves for investment and job creation.” His comments come as Fine Gael members across the country have been put on alert that a vote for a new leader will happen by the end of this month.

The Irish Examiner has confirmed that a number of hotels across the country have been booked for Friday, May 26, to facilitate the vote of a new leader.


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