European tax probe 'could harm Ireland's reputation' - Fianna Fáil

Tuesday 25 February 2014 18.27
Joaquin Almunia has stated that the commission does not view Ireland as a tax haven
Joaquin Almunia has stated that the commission does not view Ireland as a tax haven

Fianna Fáil has said that the “snail’s pace” of a European probe into Ireland’s corporation tax regime could harm the country’s ability to attract inward investment.

The party's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said it was a matter of concern that the European Commission was still gathering information six months on, with no timescale in place for a conclusion.

In a letter to the TD Joaquin Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, said he agreed with the need for a rapid investigation but said that “having full clarity of the facts” was essential to this happening.

Mr Almunia also stated that the probe was not looking at Ireland’s corporation tax rate, nor did the commission believe the country to be a tax haven.

He said the probe was instead investigating allegations that Ireland had given special treatment to some companies, which would be against European Union rules.

Mr McGrath said he welcomed the clarification from Mr Almunia, and called on the Government to use its “diplomatic resources” to bring about a quick and definitive conclusion to the commission’s investigation.