Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has welcomed the commitment made today by European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker in his State of the Union address to strengthen the European trade agenda and further open markets for EU exports. The group stated that the proposed new framework for investment screening should be approached with caution and only applied to the purchase of key European infrastructure, such as a port or harbour. However, Ibec also warned that Ireland must retain flexibility and sovereignty on taxation matters if it is to remain competitive and respond quickly and effectively to changing external events.
Ibec Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Fergal O’ Brien stated: “Ibec expresses strong concerns in relation to the suggestion made by European Commission President Junker today of moving towards qualified majority voting on sensitive policy matters, such as taxation. It is essential for the Irish economic model that we maintain full sovereignty when it comes to decision making on all taxation matters. Now more than ever, in a post-Brexit Europe, Irish businesses must be competitive. The European Union brings many advantages in that respect for a member state such as Ireland, through increased trade flows and membership of the Single Market, however we’ve got to ensure that we maintain control over our ability to adapt our own tax and labour market policies to match the particular needs of our economic model.
"The Irish Government should be prepared to use it's Council veto if necessary, in order to block any moves at an EU level that jeopardise our tax sovereignty.
“Misguided efforts by the European Commission to re-introduce a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), a proposal which has already been rejected by several EU states on numerous occasions, run contra to both the spirit and law of international efforts to align profit with economic substance. The CCCTB would result in an unjustified transfer of taxing rights from small open economies to large closed ones. Ibec has estimated that this would cost Ireland over €4 billion per annum in tax revenues. The proposal would be bad for Europe's exporters and for the Irish economy.
“Ibec will continue to work with the EU institutions and our European business partners to find common answers to common challenges, supporting greater cooperation in priority areas with a clear, collective benefit, and where the EU can deliver added value. This includes areas such as the Single Market, the digital economy, and a common trade policy.
“However, Europe must be more efficient and do less in areas where national governments are best placed to act. We need to avoid ill-conceived EU legislation that undermines job creation. The EU must not undermine the ability of member states to compete and succeed post- Brexit.”