Belfast Telegraph

Gilmore stands firm over tax rate

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has insisted the Government will not dance to the tune of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy's demands for a hike in the country's controversially low corporation tax.

As the troika - the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank - announced that Ireland had met all its European bailout targets, Mr Gilmore insisted the Government would not cave to the Franco-German agenda and hike the 12.5% rate.

"The Irish Government's position is absolutely clear," Mr Gilmore said.

"We are not going to change our rate of corporation tax because of the significant performance that has to provide certainty to investors in this country."

Independent TD Shane Ross challenged the Government to stand up to the European power players.

"Isn't it time that we said to them that we've had enough of this and that we are not going to be victims of the Franco-German agenda?" Mr Ross said. "That we are putting Ireland first and not dancing to the Merkel-Sarkozy duet?"

Mr Gilmore confirmed that Ireland would not bend under the pressure. "I believe that position is understood in the European states," he added.

French president Mr Sarkozy and German chancellor Ms Merkel have continued to attack Ireland's low corporation tax rate since the bailout was imposed last year.

They have claimed that tougher budgetary rules must be imposed across all European Union countries, including imposing similar corporation tax rates across them.

However the Government has insisted that maintaining its low rate is vital to the country's economic recovery.

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