Donald Trump’s fake news on Ireland’s corporate tax rate

US president’s suggestion that the State is preparing to reduce rate to 8% shot down

US president Donald Trump has described much of the negative media coverage of his administration as fake news but could be accused of the same thing after claiming on Monday that Ireland was planning to reduce its corporation tax rate to just 8 per cent from the current 12.5 per cent.

Speaking to The Irish Times, a spokesman for the Department of Finance poured cold water on that notion, saying "the Minister [for Finance, Paschal Donohoe] set out the Government's position on budget day and that is the position".

This followed the bizarre remarks from President Trump, who said at the White House on Monday: "You look at other countries, what they've done, and we're competing with other countries, when China is at 15 per cent, when, I hear, that Ireland's going to be reducing their corporate rates down to 8 per cent from 12 ... We can't be at 35 per cent and think we're going to remain competitive in terms of companies and in terms of jobs."

In his Budget 2018 speech, Mr Donohoe said the State’s position on the corporate tax rate was “clear”, adding: “The 12.5 per cent tax rate is, and will remain, a core part of our offering.”


He stressed the importance of stability for companies. “We have a stable and competitive corporation tax system, which is internationally recognised as one of the most transparent in the world.”

The State is resisting attempts by the European Commission and many EU leaders, notably France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, at corporation tax harmonisation, which could threaten our 12.5 per cent rate.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business