Ireland resists Biden global tax deal
Ireland still resists Joe Biden’s plans for a 15% minimum corporate tax rate, despite G20 finance ministers urging opponents to sign the deal over the weekend.
The low-tax country is one of eight countries to oppose a global deal championed by the White House and accepted by 131 countries, fearing the proposals could destroy its business model.
Dublin’s resistance will deepen a rift with US President Biden, who led the reforms despite the focus on his ancestral Irish heritage during the election campaign. It came as Washington launched another crackdown on big business in the United States on Friday.
Ireland – which has attracted many international companies with its 12.5% tax rate – is not a member of the G20, whose finance ministers and central bankers conclude their meeting in Venice on Saturday, but is represented by the delegation of the European Union.
Plans to raise taxes globally have been negotiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and are aimed at preventing large corporations such as America’s tech giants from shifting their profits around the world to limit what they pay.
There is growing concern in Ireland about the company it is maintaining through its opposition to the proposals. The other refusniks are Estonia, Hungary, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Michael McNamara, an independent Irish MP, said a possible fall seems inevitable and criticized Dublin for siding with “illiberal Democrats” such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Mr McNamara said: “At the next leaders’ summit, I don’t see Michael Martin [the Taoiseach] fall on a table to be photographed with Viktor Orban.
“Splendid isolation doesn’t work for very long, in a globalized world … how long we can buy before reputational damage starts to be done is the question mark.”