Senator Jerry Buttimer, speaking in the Seanad today, criticised the Government for failing to adequately to respond to President Nicolas Sarkozy’s assertions that Ireland should increase its corporation tax in exchange for accessing the EU/IMF bailout fund.
“All along, the Government assured us that the raising of the corporation tax was not on the table during negotiations. I raised the issue in the Seanad and the Government representatives were mute on it to say the least. President Sarkozy has no business intervening in our domestic affairs. Ireland is a proud member of the European Union. Despite the bailout, we continue to be an economic and political force in European matters”.
“Our corporation tax rate of 12.5% is an essential component in driving growth in our economy and encouraging investment. Fine Gael has consistently supported the retention of this rate. If successful in the next election, Fine Gael will lead the renegotiation of the EU/IMF deal to ensure a fairer repayment plan for the Irish people. We commented at the time that the interest rate was too high and Minister Coughlan has since said that a lower interest rate would be welcome. What the Minister has forgotten is that her Government were at the negotiating table when the interest rate of 5.9% was agreed.”
“I resent the fact that the Government has failed to respond on behalf of the Irish people against President Sarkozy’s remarks. Any suggestion that Ireland must raise its corporation tax at the behest of European leaders must be faced down. Fianna Fail would do well to concentrate more on the country than their own internal politics at this critical time”.