On 7 October 2021, Ireland signed the OECD’s International Tax Agreement. Ireland had initially been one of only eight countries that refused to sign, alongside the well-known tax havens, Barbados and St Vincent.
Explaining his reticence, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, said his government objected to the term ‘at least’ in the original agreement, as this might mean future increases from the 15% already in the deal.
Since the Second World War, corporation taxes have declined steadily. In the 1950s, companies paid around 50% on their corporate profits, but the OECD average is now just 23%, thanks to help from offshore centers.
Workers here pay 20% on the first €35,300 and 40% thereafter, but Donohoe was worried that vast conglomerates, some with hundreds of billions offshore, might have to pay more than 15%. Indeed, he made a virtue of the fact that his lobbying had ensured democratic governments, acting collectively, wouldn’t be
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