Benjamin Constant, the Swiss political philosopher active in the decades after the French Revolution, might have had Boris Johnson in mind when he wrote that “nearly all men are obsessed with demonstrating they are something more than they are”.
British prime minister Theresa May has yet to secure an agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists (DUP) on a deal to prop up her minority government after last week’s catastrophic election resulted in a hung parliament.
Maybe it’s just me, but when a politician — particularly one as senior as the finance minister, and especially when that minister is wily old Michael Noonan — tells us that Britain reducing its corporation tax to 15% is no big deal, I begin to wonder what I’m not being told.
The IDA has played down the threat to Ireland’s competitiveness of the UK’s plans to slash its corporate tax rate to 15%, saying the tackling of high business costs and ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce are bigger concerns.
Alarm has been raised here after chancellor George Osborne told the Financial Times, in his first interview following the shock Brexit vote, that the UK now aimed to offset any slowdown in Britain by cutting its corporation tax rate all the way down to 15%.
The leaders of the campaign to get Britain out of the European Union sought to ease concerns about the country’s uncertain economic future by giving public backing to Bank of England governor Mark Carney and finance minister George Osborne.