Did Donald Trump just spout fake news about Ireland’s corporate tax rate?

17 Oct 2017

US president Donald Trump. Image: A Katz/Shutterstock

Any drop in Irish corporate tax from 12.5pc to 8pc would be a non-runner.

Donald Trump’s propensity to bend the truth while decrying any criticism as ‘fake news’ is legendary, but it seems that the US president is being quite economical with the truth about Ireland’s corporate tax rate.

Yesterday (16 October), Trump made the bizarre claim that Ireland was planning to reduce its corporate tax rate from 12.5pc to just 8pc.

He said: “You look at other countries, what they’ve done, and we’re competing with other countries, when China is at 15pc; when, I hear, that Ireland’s going to be reducing their corporate rates down to 8pc from 12pc … We can’t be at 35pc and think we’re going to remain competitive in terms of companies and in terms of jobs.”

The Trump show

Trump’s claim is pure fantasy.

Ireland has already attracted the ire of jealous European neighbours in recent years for its corporate tax rate, and the country is about to enter the legal fray against the European Commission over a €15bn Apple tax bill.

Not only that, but last week, in his budget speech, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD, emphasised that the 12.5pc corporate tax rate was here to stay.

“Our position is clear,” he said.

“The 12.5pc tax rate is, and will remain, a core part of our offering. I also recognise the importance of stability.

“With so much change ahead, Ireland must compete, not only on the rate but on the ability to offer certainty.”

So, where is Trump getting this notion? 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.

But hey, Donald, we are always watching the Trump show. It’s pretty hard to miss.

US president Donald Trump. Image: A Katz/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years