Breen welcomes decision to retain 12.5% Corporation Tax.

December 2nd, 2010 - Pat Breen

On Tuesday night last Fine Gael tabled a Private Members Motion as follows: That Dáil Éireann confirms its commitment to the maintenance of the 12.5% rate of corporation tax as an indispensable tool for growth, job creation and economic recovery.

Speaking during Private Members time on Wednesday night last, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has described the decision the maintain Ireland’s rate of corporation tax at 12.5% as “hugely important for our country and critical for our economic recovery”. The decision to maintain the rate was contained in the Government’s 4-year plan which was published on Wednesday, which prompted Deputy Breen to criticise the Government for tabling an amendment to the Fine Gael Motion on Tuesday night especially as the Government had“been preaching consensus for some time”, and he said that the “Minister for Finance knew last night that corporation tax would be protected in the four year plan and he should have agreed with the Fine Gael motion.”

“I welcome the commitment to maintain our corporation rate at 12.5%. It is hugely important for our country and critical for our economic recovery. Foreign direct investment accounts for €110 billion or 70% of total exports. Multinationals are the one bright spark we have in driving export growth in this country”, he said.

He informed the Dail that Deputy Kenny had met with the General Manager of Intel in Ireland Paul Sinnott that day and that he felt very strongly about maintaining the 12.5% Corporation Tax rate and had commended Fine Gael for tabling the Motion.

Deputy Breen pointed out that Intel “employs 4,500 people here in Dublin and Shannon, which is my constituency. The Intel projections for the future are quite good. I have been to Intel in Shannon and visited its research and development plant. The future technology which is being developed in Shannon is super. It is very important to have an industry like it in the region”

Deputy Breen went on to cite the maintenance of the 12.5% Corporation Tax rate as critical for the Region if the IDA were to deliver on their target to develop 50% of their projects to locations outside of Dublin and Cork, a commitment which is contained in their Horizon 2020, strategy. Deputy Breen said that it was also critical in paving the way for the development of a cargo hub at Shannon Airport particularly given that he understood that “negotiations are ongoing with the DAA regarding the Lynx Cargo Group.”

Finally, he highlighted the benefits of the Shannon Estuary which he said “could potentially be attractive to multinational industries. We have a deep sea port and the airport and it is an ideal location for alternative energy or manufacturing. Multinationals will be attracted to the area once our economic situation is rectified and “retaining the corporation tax rates at 12.5% is very important”, he said.

Fine Gael Motion – Text – That Dáil Éireann confirms its commitment to the maintenance of the 12.5% rate of corporation tax as an indispensable tool for growth, job creation and economic recovery.

Fine Gael’s Private Members Motion – Debate – Wednesday, 24th November 2010.

Deputy Pat Breen T.D.

I welcome the opportunity to speak on this important motion on the tabling of which I commend my colleague, Deputy Noonan. Today in Government Buildings we saw the pain which generations of Irish people will have to carry for the sins of the Government and its banker friends. Like Deputy O’Mahony, I am angry at the fact that the Government added an amendment to our motion. It has been preaching consensus for some time but unfortunately there was no consensus on this occasion. The Minister for Finance knew last night that corporation tax would be protected in the four year plan and he should have agreed with the Fine Gael motion. I am disappointed with that and it is very short sighted.
Nevertheless, I welcome the commitment to maintain our corporation tax rate at 12.5%. It is hugely important for our country and critical for our economic recovery. Foreign direct investment accounts for €110 billion or 70% of total exports. Multinationals are the one bright spark we have in driving export growth in this country. According to a recent survey by the IMI 47% of multinationals located here expect their turnover to increase in 2011 and 26% expect to increase the number of people they employ.
Today our party leader met the new boss of Intel in Ireland who was very concerned about corporation tax. He informed Deputy Kenny that he commended Fine Gael on tabling the motion and will send the transcripts of the debate to the company headquarters in the United States. That is how strongly it felt about corporation tax. It employs 4,500 people here in Dublin and Shannon, which is my constituency. The Intel projections for the future are quite good. I have been to Intel in Shannon and visited its research and development plant. The future technology which is being developed in Shannon is super. It is very important to have an industry like it in the region.
The IDA has a very ambitious target for developing foreign direct investment in its strategy document, Horizon 2020. As part of that strategy it is committed to developing 50% of the projects to locations outside Dublin and Cork. The mid-west region, for example, has preclearance available in Shannon for scheduled transit and general aviation traffic. That is very important and I understand negotiations are ongoing with the DAA regarding the Lynx Cargo group which I hope will be successful. The agreement would pave the way for the development of a cargo hub at Shannon Airport which in turn would create more than 5,000 jobs throughout the region.
Another area which I want to promote is the Shannon estuary. It is an area which could potentially be attractive to multinational industries and retaining the corporation tax rate of 12.5% is very important.
We have a deep sea port and the airport and it is an ideal location for alternative energy or manufacturing. Multinationals will be attracted to the area once our economic situation is rectified. I commend the motion to the House. I thank the Government for getting it right on this occasion. It was the only course to take and was the Fine Gael position.