There will be no price to pay for loyalty of the EU, according to Paschal Donohoe
EU support is not conditional.
Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform Paschal Donohoe has said that there will be no changes to Ireland’s corporation tax rate as a result of EU support of Ireland's position on Brexit.
Donohoe made the comments to Dion Fanning on the latest episode of Ireland Unfiltered after some corners of the media and the political sphere speculated that EU’s support of Ireland's stance on Brexit will come at a cost.
But Donohoe rejected these claims and said the loyalty of the EU is not conditional on concessions in other areas and that the two matters are very much separate.
“I've heard now for many years the prediction that at some point a price will be extracted,” Donohoe said.
“I've heard many make that prediction. It has not happened up to this point, I don't believe it will.
“I was out in the courtyard of Merrion Square with the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Bruno Le Maire said these are different things. The reason they're different is that Brexit cuts to the heart of the European Union.
“The European Union is a political construct. This goes to the idea of if the country then decides to leave that club, should a country who decides to remain in be significantly politically disadvantaged as a result of that exit?”
Ireland’s corporation tax rate has long been a thorny issue for the European Union, and has come under further scrutiny in recent years following the European Commission’s 2016 ruling which found Ireland gave Apple illegal state aid worth up to €13 billion.
Ireland and Apple are currently appealing the decision and are denying there was any sweetheart deal between the two parties.
But the state is growing increasingly reliant on corporation tax for revenue year-on-year, with exchequer returns for the eight months to the end of August in 2019 showing it has generated a record €4.9 billion.
This was €314 million ahead of the Department of Finance’s projections. It was also more than half a billion euro up on last year.