The Minister for Enterprise and Trade made the remarks as he resolved an audience including agents of US service and its public sector at the Centre for Strategic and International Research Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.
His see comes against a background of unpredictability over the future of Ireland’s 12.5 percent corporation tax rate.
Ireland is under pressure to register to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) deal that would see the intro of a minimum global rate of at least 15 per cent.
The Federal government is likely to sign up to a boost in Ireland’s business tax rate but only if the OECD agrees to limit the text to 15 per cent and not “a minimum of 15 percent”.
Mr Varadkar is utilizing the journey to inform organization that Ireland stays a “wonderful” place for financial investment despite the unpredictability over the future of the business tax rate.
He went to at round table conversation at the United States Chamber of Commerce today and will hold meetings with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and ambassador Katherine Tai, United States trade agent, later on Monday.
Mr Varadkar was asked about what it would consider Ireland to sign up to the OECD deal at the CSIS event.
He stated that Ireland’s position like those of other government is that setting tax rates is a “sovereign concern”.
” Ultimately we choose what our earnings tax rate is, what our business tax rate is, what our capital gains tax rate is and we ‘d be really loath to depart from that principle …
” That’s why we retain the alternative of not participating in any worldwide contract or European regulation on it.
” That’s not our choice.
” We would rather remain in the camping tent as you said both politically and economically.”
Mr Varadkar stated it would “make more sense for us to be inside any worldwide structure” as “it’s our instinct and that’s where we want to be.”
However, he stated: “Something that has actually worked extremely well for us in our system is to have this low corporation tax rate – however it’s not just the rate, it’s the dependability.
” So through boom and bust, through recession and through periods of growth, through modifications in Government that rate has actually remained the very same and low.”
He said this has actually enabled companies making a 30- or 40- year investment in Ireland to “know what the guidelines are”.
” And that’s why we ‘d wish to keep it low and keep it continuous,” he said.
” Amongst the important things that we would be worried about would be this concept that it would be at least 15 percent because it may then go higher.”
Mr Varadkar stated that Ireland would wish to know that any agreed minimum worldwide business tax rate “is the rate and it’ll stay at that rate and won’t alter 5 years time or ten time”.
He stated: “We ‘d definitely require to be ensured that it would really be executed by all of the nations signing up to it.
” Clearly anything like that would have to go through United States Congress, it would need to go through the European Parliament and national parliaments.
” So we need to know everybody was doing it.”
Later on, talking to reporters it was put to Mr Varadkar that the days of the 12.5 per cent rate are gone.
He said: “I can’t say that at this stage. As things stand we don’t have a global agreement on corporation tax.”
Mr Varadkar added that Ireland is willing to be part of one “if it remains in our interest”, but said: “We’re not going to permit a situation whereby there is a contract and some nations implement it and some countries don’t so there’s a long way to take a trip yet on this I believe.”