David McWilliams: Here’s what we could do with extra corporation tax

We should improve Ireland’s commercial DNA using multinationals’ taxation

Despite the Department of Finance claiming that tax revenues could fall by €2bn because of diverting profits that used to be claimed to be Irish, I’m willing to bet that corporation tax receipts will be higher in the next few years. Photograph:  Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Despite the Department of Finance claiming that tax revenues could fall by €2bn because of diverting profits that used to be claimed to be Irish, I’m willing to bet that corporation tax receipts will be higher in the next few years. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

This week Ireland slayed its most golden of golden cows – the 12.5 per cent corporation tax. When the dust settles, things will work out just fine. But such a move gives us a chance to pause and consider what type of economy we want to construct from here. 

On every measure, the Irish economy has grown faster than almost anywhere in the past 30 years. The contrast with what went before, the lost years, is startling. In 1991, we had fewer people working than in 1951 – 1.1 million in total. Today we have 2.2 million working. The workforce has doubled in a generation. 

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