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There are increasing numbers of countries with high educational levels, wide English language competency, lower wage rates, and increasingly unobstructed access to Eurozone markets, so all the other advantages that may have contributed to the Celtic Tiger are becoming less important.  In the meantime globalisation and reducing corporate tax rates elsewhere chip away at the one last advantage Ireland has in attracting mobile foreign direct investment.

So, yes, I do think the low tax rate is an important component of why major companies located here, although it may not be enough in the future.  I don't have a problem with major companies like Google, Microsoft, Oracle,or Wyeth locating here because they brought real investment, major numbers of jobs, and net increases in tax revenue.  I do think the Financial Services Centre was largely a tax avoidance scam and has rightly annoyed other Eurozone countries.

Guinness/aka Diageo is actually incorporated in Holland because various exemptions means the tax cost is even lower there.  Some countries just keep a lower profile when it comes to tax competition.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 10th, 2011 at 08:33:05 PM EST
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