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.
But since yesterday, it seems that the US president is being quite economical with the truth about Ireland’s corporate tax rate. Trump made the bizarre claim that Ireland was planning to reduce its corporate tax rate from 12.5pc to just 8pc.
In an (unscheduled) speech in the White House’s Rose Garden, alongside Senate Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump embarked on namechecking Ireland’s rate, and seemingly contradicting Paschal Donohoe’s Budget from last Tuesday.
Finance officials have shut down Trump's claim that Ireland will cut its corporate tax rate https://t.co/brUUekNBLr
— Fora.ie (@Fora_ie) October 17, 2017
“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.” Trump mentioned.
Regarding Ireland’s tax rate (which is 12.5%, not 12%), it seems entirely unlikely that a change to such a key government figure would be made with no fanfare, not least because Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe last Tuesday insisted in his Budget speech that the figure would remain unchanged:
“Our position is clear, the 12.5% tax rate is, and will remain, a core part of our offering” Donohoe said last week.
So the president may have been misinformed, to put it charitably. Not for the first time.
Chances are he just threw that little tidbit out there for dramatic effect as part of his crusade to bring US corporate tax down from 35pc to 20pc.
He probably didn’t think anybody in little ol’ Ireland was watching.