Speech by Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP on Ireland’s corporation tax rate and proposals to establish a code of convergence for the Eurozone area.

President Barroso,

“Ireland is a small open economy with a heavy concentration of foreign direct investment. The 12.5% corporation tax rate is critical to supporting our economic recovery, retaining jobs and employment growth.”

“As a result of establishing a low company tax rate, eight of the world’s top ten technology firms are based in Ireland.”

“Any move towards converging or harmonising the rate of company tax in the European Union would substantially damage Ireland’s ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment and hence our ability to ‘grow our way’ to economic recovery.”

“It is important to remember that Ireland like other smaller Member States is geographically and historically a peripheral country in Europe. A low corporate tax rate is a tool to address the economic limitations that come with being a peripheral country.”

“Can the President confirm that under the Lisbon Treaty tax competence is a matter for each Member State?”