Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP today said that introducing common corporate tax rates in Europe is ‘simply not a runner ‘ and will not wash politically.


Mr Gallagher commented, “The reason the Eurozone is facing real difficulties is not down to the different level of corporation tax charged in various member states, but because of the level of indebtedness of EU Governments. The majority of Eurozone countries are in breach of budget deficit rules laid down for the operation of the Eurozone.


“Tax rates, including the level of corporation tax that a country charges cannot be changed unless there is the unanimous agreement of all 27 EU member states. This is the undisputed legal position under the EU treaties.


“The bottom line is that Ireland is still a very positive location for direct foreign investment and this is helping to increase the level of our exports. Changing our corporation tax rate would negatively impact on what is a successful and functioning element of our economy and a key driver for recovery and future growth.


“EU leaders should not seek to mess with this. It should also be pointed out that Ireland does not even have the lowest rate of corporation tax in Europe. While European Governments are forced to face up to dealing with high levels of debt, growth strategies must always be put in place. This was a point recently re-enforced by the new head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Le Garde.


“Growth strategies must be in place in Ireland for a variety of different sectors, including in the areas of agriculture and food, the digital agenda, energy efficiencies and renewables, climate change, marine policy and research, innovation and science. These are the areas where we can create the new jobs of the future and become more competitive in the years ahead.”