Ireland

Donohoe confident Ireland remains an attractive location for investment

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said he is confident Ireland will continue to be an attractive location in which to invest and create jobs.

Mr Donohoe told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that he wanted to maintain and grow employment with a “good share” of international investment.

It was important to maintain the ability to balance finances and to get people back to work Mr Donohoe said, adding he was confident Ireland would continue to grow its economy “if we make the right decisions at home.”

Within the OECD, national interests were being asserted about tax rates, and he would be doing the same for Ireland.

The Minister defended his insistence on an Irish corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent, while other countries were calling for a 15 per cent rate or higher.

This was a “very contested area”, Mr Donohoe said.

On the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Mr Donohoe said the world of FDI was changing, there were ebbs and flows, but it would continue to be part of the Irish economic model.

“We will continue to have a really strong domestic economy. FDI and international investment will continue to be critical to Ireland.”

Mr Donohoe added he believes it is important that small and medium economies have a lower rate.

With regard to the Facebook decision on staff working remotely from other countries, Mr Donohoe said it was a huge opportunity for people. He added the rules on tax residency were “crystal clear” and people would still have to meet the residency requirements.

Vacant site levy

The Minister also spoke about a vacant site levy, saying no such charge would be announced in the next budget due to lack of accurate data, which will not be available until changes are made to Local Propety Tax.

“We are always looking at opportunities,” he said, adding the levy was something “that could form future policy choices.”

On the issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Donohoe said the British prime minister Boris Johnson had recommitted to finding a way to resolve the issue on Thursday.

There were flexibilities within the Protocol which he hoped could form the basis of an agreement, Mr Donohoe added.

“I do believe we will get it.”

When asked about the practice of political parties using activists to conduct polling surveys, Mr Donohoe said Fine Gael had not done so since 2016, but accepted the action was not appropriate.

Any information which had been collected was not centrally stored, he said, adding that when polling was conducted by party activists in his own constituency, they had been “upfront” saying they were acting on behalf of Fine Gael.

Mr Donohoe said he supported calls to set up an Electoral Commission and expected Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to announce details in the near future.

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