US firms pressure Ireland to tax the people, not corporations

The Irish government has been given a stark warning from some of the biggest American companies in Ireland on the risk of a mass exodus if the country’s low corporation tax rate is raised.

Telegraph image

James Quinn

The warning – from executives at Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Intel – spoke of the “damaging impact” on Ireland’s “ability to win and retain investment” should the country’s corporation tax rate be increased from 12.5pc.

It came as talks between members of the Irish government and the European Union and the International Monetary Fund continued around the clock on a financial aid package of as much as €100bn to shore up the country’s beleaguered banking system.

Although Brian Lenihan, the Irish finance minister, has indicated Ireland’s 12.5pc corporation tax rate – the lowest in the eurozone – will not be raised, a number of factions within the European Union are known to have pushed for it to be increased in return for the bail-out.

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