Sinn Féin, after explicitly telling voters at the last election that the party was “committed” to retaining the 12.5% corporate tax rate, has now done a u-turn so fast it’d make you motion sick, saying they suddenly support changing it.
Honestly, the government and the so-called “opposition” parties in this country deserve each other.
At the 2020 General Election, just 20 months ago, Sinn Féin said in their manifesto to voters:
“Sinn Féin values foreign direct investment and is committed to retaining the 12.5% corporation tax rate that has been key in attracting many multinational corporations to locate in Ireland.”
Moreover, on the website WhichCandidate.ie, where candidates put in their answers to policy questions so voters can decide who to vote for, one question was “Should corporation taxes be increased or decreased?”
For this question, Sinn Féin answered “stay the same,” with a brief explanation attached:
“We would retain the 12.5% rate. But greater transparency is needed and loopholes must be closed to ensure corporations pay what is due.”
So, in short, yes, we will protect the 12.5% rate, but we should also close tax loopholes. That was their stated policy to voters – that was at least part of why they were elected.
So now that the government (who also went back on their word) have raised the rate to 15%, Sinn Féin are probably pretty annoyed, you’d imagine. Pearse Doherty is probably raising his voice at Leo in the Dáil right now as you read this – right?
As the government moves today to decide on Ireland’s tax rate, it’s worth recalling that in 2020 all government parties explicitly assured voters they would retain Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax regime if elected.#gripthttps://t.co/G9wc6oSsDV
— gript (@griptmedia) October 7, 2021
Well, not quite – as reported by RTÉ yesterday:
“Opposition parties have supported the decision to sign up to the OECD tax deal. Sinn Féin said it accepted the merits of the process and Ireland could not be an outlier or labelled a tax haven.”
Mary Lou McDonald even went so far as to carry water for the government, saying: “Ireland will still be competitive and attractive for investment, we believe.”
So in other words, a total 180 degree turn. Tell voters you’ll do one thing to get elected, and then support the precise opposite policy.
Labour, too, cannot be let off the hook. At the last election they said:
“…Labour will introduce a minimum effective rate of Corporation Tax of 12.5%…”
“While the rate should remain at 12.5%, this should become an effective rate of tax without further tax breaks or discounts.”
Labour’s policy today? According to RTÉ: “Labour supports the change, but believes the government should have moved earlier.”
In other words, they didn’t compromise on their promises fast enough. That’s Labour’s main objection to this whole thing.
Only in Ireland could something like our 12.5% corporate tax rate go from being an uncrossable red line, to unanimously agreed to be worthless by both the government and the so-called “opposition,” all in the space of a few months.
The absolute state of this country’s political classes.