DUBLIN (Reuters) – A senior Irish minister said on Tuesday he was confident the government would sign an overhaul of global corporate tax rules this week after updated proposals were released to negotiating countries.
Ireland, the low-tax European headquarters of a number of the world’s largest multinationals, refused to sign the universally supported Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agreement at the except for a handful of countries involved.
Ireland has mainly opposed the introduction of a proposed minimum overall rate of “at least” 15%, and in particular the phrase “at least” which it said would undermine the certainty that its valuable rate of 12.5% has been giving to businesses for years.
“I am hopeful and confident that we can be part of the solution here … I hope we can sign up.” Environment Minister Eamon Ryan, who is also the leader of the Green Party’s junior coalition, told national television station RTE.
Ryan added that it was important to Ireland’s reputation that she eventually joined the deal. Ministers are to decide whether or not to support the deal on Thursday.
The deal from Ireland, one of the countries that has benefited the most from the corporate tax cut, would be a big boost to plans to impose an overall minimum rate. Multinationals like Google, Facebook and Apple directly employ more than one in 10 Irish workers.
Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar issued an equally optimistic note on Monday, saying the revised proposals addressed “many, if not all” of Ireland’s concerns.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, who will recommend to cabinet whether or not Ireland should join, said progress had been made but further commitment was needed.
(Report by Padraic Halpin, edited by Ed Osmond)
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