Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said he is "so committed" to retaining Ireland's low corporate tax rate that he is not willing to sign up to a new international tax agreement in its current form.
"We are not in that agreement," Minister Donohoe, who is also President of the Eurogroup, said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.
"We are committed to the negotiation to see if we can enter the agreement at some point, but I am making the case for 12.5%."
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Minister Donohoe said the rate of 12.5% has been a key feature of Ireland's economic policy for decades.
"I am so committed that I decided I could not enter into the agreement," he said. However, he did not rule out the possibility of agreeing in the future.
"It depends on what the final agreement is," Mr Donohoe said.
"The agreement as currently drafted refers to at least 15%, so the question is in the key features of the agreement.
"For example, in relation to the base, which is how much you can actually tax in your own jurisdiction, it does not have the certainty of precision that is needed for this country to make an evaluation of what to do."
He said whether Ireland is in the final agreement or not will depend on the detail that is in it.
"Early next week I am going to launch a public consultation on the agreement as currently drafted, to really brief our business community stakeholders in Ireland regarding what is there at the moment and how things could change," he said.
Questioning the Minister for Finance at a session of the Budgetary Oversight Committee this morning, Sinn Féin's finance spokesman, Pearse Doherty said some would argue that Paschal Donohoe is engaged in a process of conditioning the public for a change to Ireland's corporation tax rate.
Challenging Mr Donohoe to give a commitment to companies that Ireland's 12.5% rate would not be increased, Mr Doherty said the Minister and Ireland have staked their reputation by aligning with a small number of countries who have not opted in to the OECD deal on corporation tax.
He said other finance ministers in the past had no problem in coming before the committee and giving a commitment that the 12.5% rate would not be altered.
Responding to Mr Doherty's question, the finance minister said he is engaged in negotiations and has proven his commitment to stranding by the rate by not joining the agreement at the moment.
He added that he is not going to speculate on Ireland's final position on an agreement that is not yet finalised.
He said Mr Doherty could not claim that he is not committed to the rate and then criticise him for being one of few countries outside the consensus.
Mr Donohoe also said he could commit to putting in place a very robust and strong defence to the rate in place.
People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, questioned whether Ireland holding out on the corporation tax deal confirms the country is a tax haven.
In response, Mr Donohoe said there is very little difference between the nominal rate of corporation tax of 12.5% and the rate at which companies actually pay, which he said Revenue had showed was between 10 and 11%.
Mr Donohoe added that protecting the rate is critical to Ireland's future and that is why he is taking action.
He said the agreement on the table does not provide certainty as it refers to a global minimum tax rate of "at least" 12.5%.