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Wednesday

Ireland's Delusion is the EU's Opportunity

Gary J Byrnes, Thriller Writer
David Cameron now seems committed to taking Britain out of the 'ever-closer' European Union. It being Ireland's most important trading partner, the UK's exit from the EU would have huge implications for us.

Meanwhile, we have Michael Noonan 'leading' EU finance ministers during Ireland's presidency. Most of them want to put a tiny transaction tax on financial institutions, to help pay for the damage caused by their reckless lending, shocking greed and illegal activities. But no, Ireland will not place a transaction tax on the banks. Paddy knows best. We love our banks too much and we are under the delusion that we will have a strong financial services sector some day. Fat chance.

Further, Europe wants to harmonise corporate taxation, so rich corporations must pay their fair share in tax while accessing the world's biggest market. Again, no, Ireland will not entertain this as we want to allow the world's most wealthy businesses to avoid tax and pay only around 6% to the Irish taxman, letting carers, children and parents pick up the slack. We need to decide where we stand on ever-closer European Union or we might get a surprise: when the UK moves towards the exit door, we might get a push.

Meanwhile, Ireland's economy is placed under yet another cloud of confusion and uncertainty until the UK makes up its mind. Time to take another look at those growth projections, Mr Noonan. And while you're doing it, you might reconsider your resistance to the financial transaction tax and harmonisation of corporation tax. Or will you just keep trying to get blood from a stone?


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