Cantillon: Enda Kenny lets loose over commission tax examination

Hardly misleading to suggest EU Commission is looking at 300 other tax rulings

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said an Irish Times report on the European Commission’s examination of corporate tax files here was “loose talk”. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said an Irish Times report on the European Commission’s examination of corporate tax files here was “loose talk”. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had a go at The Irish Times on Friday saying that a report on the European Commission’s examination of corporate tax files here was “loose talk” which was damaging to the country.

The report that annoyed Mr Kenny so much had stated that it was understood the commission was in possession of 300 other tax rulings made by the Irish Revenue. The commission is looking at these files as part of a wider sweep of tax ruling across Europe.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told The Irish Times she had not ruled out taking action in further cases against Ireland, a point which Mr Kenny also noted. Hard to see where the “loose” talk is here.

Newspapers are never slow to dish it out to politicians, so some return fire is par for the course. But the Department of Finance did give the tax rulings to the commission, relating to the years 2010 to 2012.

Hardly misleading

And it is hardly misleading to suggest that the commission is looking at them and has not ruled out further action.

What has really damaged the State is that Ireland has been caught offside in a big international tax row which the Government did not see coming.

Right up to the last minute, Dublin believed the final bill it would be asked to collect from Apple would be a fraction of what it turned out to be. This meant that the whole system was completely unprepared to deal with the fallout of the judgment.

All the indications are that the commission’s ruling was an intensely political act and that Ireland was effectively caught in the middle. But caught we are, and we have to deal with it.

The old lines trotted out by the Government that the corporate tax system here is open and transparent are not enough. We need a sophisticated response to this which is not yet in evidence.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.