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Mr Varadkar, the country’s former Taoiseach (prime minister), mocked the idea of taxing big corporations in an ill-judged message yesterday. The Tanaiste (deputy prime minister) said: “Multinationals played a crucial role in lifting Ireland out of the last recession and they will again as we rebuild our economy after Covid. What does Sinn Féin want to do? Tax them.”
Sinn Féin TD for Donegal Pearse Doherty pointed out Mr Varadkar’s comments were in contradiction to a report commissioned by a minister in his own party, Michael Noonan.
Minister Noonan commissioned a review of Ireland’s Corporation Tax Code that recommended increasing the tax on multinational companies in Ireland.
Mr Doherty tweeted: “Leo Varadkar you’re embarrassing yourself.
“This is a Key Recommendation of the Expert Review of Corporation Tax commissioned by Minister Noonan & carried out by the former chair of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council Seamus Coffey.”
Irish MEP Mick Wallace also hit back at Mr Varadkar’s claims about the positive input from multi-nationals.
Mr Wallace tweeted: “Many of ‘multinationals’ that you claim lifted us out of last recession have done untold damage to Irish society, exacerbated housing crisis, and are directly linked to rising inequality in Ireland.
“When are we going to get an Irish Government that invests in it’s own people?”
Social justice campaigner Clare O’Connor drew attention to the minute amount of tax paid by multi-nationals in comparison to what the ordinary Irish individual most pay.
She tweeted: “Imagine actually saying this in public as individuals pay Paye, USC, VAT, Car tax, property tax.
“The mask is completely off.”
A recent report from the Central Bank of Ireland claimed Ireland would only see a minimal contraction of its economy this year because of the coronavirus crisis.
The report found a no-deal Brexit will have a greater impact on the Irish economy than coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
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Ireland’s food exports could contract by up to one third if a deal is not reached between the EU and the UK.
Forecast growth for 2021 is to be set at 3.5 percent.
The Central Bank of Ireland stated: “In our latest forecasts it was considered prudent to make a change and assume that the EU and the UK move to trading on WTO terms from January 1st next.
“Such a development would have the effect of increasing costs, raising uncertainty and disrupting trade flows.
“While the impact would differ across sectors and regions, for the economy as a whole it would detract from the projected recovery, especially in 2021.”
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