Meanwhile, In Davos


davos kenny

This morning/afternoon.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny alongside a panel including Nobel prize winning economist  Joseph Stiglitz discussing ‘inequality’ at Davos.

Watch live here

More as we get it.


Mr Kenny said:

“From our point of view, obviously to get foreign direct investment into the country you need particular principles. And in Ireland the corporate tax rate was always 12.5% and is 12.5% and will remain so and that’s across all sectors, and across the entire country. And because of reputational damage being done, we got rid of the so-called Double Irish concept which was an issue of taxation that Joseph [Stiglitz] has often written about and the stateless concept. And now we have a 12.5% corporate tax rate and we’ve introduced the first OECD fully compliant knowledge patent knowledge box set at 6.25% for qualified research and development.

But that’s the taxation end of it and it’s attractive and it’s competitive but it’s not the real reason that people really want to invest in the country. When you talk to them, the real reason is the talent pool, the creativity and the ingenuity and the imagination of young people and it’s the same for every country because you’ve got this capacity.

…For instance, a voluntary movement started in Ireland, called Coderdojo – the writing of code for computers and this has taken off and every weekend you have people who voluntarily teach people how to write code that makes, that makes computers tick, this has gone international…

Meanwhile, following a question from the audience about ‘organised tax evasion’ in Europe and its impact on social inequality, Mr Stiglitz said multinationals have a social responsibility to pay their taxes.

He said:

Apple, in the United States, has become the poster child for using ingenuity to take advantage of these loopholes and we have had a very big effort to try to have a UN movement to address this issue. The view that we had was that the countries from which the tax avoiders were coming, like Apple, should not, those governments should not be deciding how to structure a tax regime because they will structure a tax regime that benefits their companies and not benefits the entire world but the United States unfortunately – supported by several European countries – argued that the tax avoiders and evaders should get together and write the rules so they could continue the tax evasion. So I was very disappointed with my own government on this….

In response, Mr Kenny said:

“Ireland is a case in point where Apple has been mentioned. Apple employ 5,000 people in Ireland. They pay their taxes. But no special deal is done with any company by our revenue commissioners over the years and that’s a case obviously, the European Commission are looking at, not just in the case of Ireland but in other countries as well. But obviously the European Council consider this, the OECD have carried out their BEPS analysis, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting and for one country, we’ve been very much forthright and up for that because clearly, the taxation system, the legal systems are very far behind the digital systems.

So, we don’t do brass plate companies in our country. So you have a plate…Apple employ 5,000 people, who go to work everyday. Obviously if you manufacture something there and you sell it in France or Italy, the intellectual property is invested elsewhere, these are the complexities and the challenges that are there.

I just want to make it clear that, from our point of view, we defend 100 per cent the authenticity of the way we do business with international companies and there was a lot of talk, as you know Joe [Stiglitz] in the United States about Ireland being a tax haven which was completely false, baseless and untrue and has been dealt with very clearly.

And that’s why in budgets we got rid of reputational perceptions with the Double Irish concept …. and I would absolutely above board and out front for everybody so just to make that point.”

Previously: They’re On To Us

Meanwhile, In Cork (Via Elsewhere)

Anything Good Behind The FT Paywall?

51 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Davos

  1. Funster Fionnanánn

    I’m the prime minister of Ireland.
    Says the rosy cheeked wooden barrel.

    We don’t even listen to him.

    1. Neilo

      The kind of pathologically lying incompetent that’s usually smart enough to keep his button lipped while presiding over one of the few EU economies that’s doing any way decently. Full disclosure: not an FG supporter in this life, or the next. I

      1. ahjayzis

        Also the only EU economy not tied to the fate of the EU economy – being firmly hitched to the US/UK economies which are doing alright. He’s there by dint of geology and plate tectonics, not competence.

        1. ollie

          “the only EU economy not tied to the fate of the EU economy “. Re read this sentence in 6 months time.

        2. classter

          48% of Ireland’s exports go to the Eurozone & Switzerland.
          30% go to the UK & US

          To suggest that we are hitched only to the US & UK economies is patent nonsense.

        1. Dav

          the “i’m all right jack approach” means that the cost is not cared about. It’s up there with the feeling that “an economy” is more important than a country.

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            There’s huge numbers of children under 7 years old sleeping rough. Emergency rooms are overflowing with elderly at deaths door, but we’re here today to talk about the economy, which is great thanks for asking.

          2. Kieran NYC

            “It’s up there with the feeling that “an economy” is more important than a country”

            We tried to run a country when the economy was in the toilet. Didn’t work out so well.

          3. classter

            It isn’t a binary choice between ‘society’ and the ‘economy’.

            Over the longer-term they feed into each other.

  2. Disasta

    Are they all into keeping the wealth at the top?
    Karma is obviously like Jebus and God and winning the lotto.

        1. Dav

          oh, sorry, didn’t realise… erm can I go with “right wing, fascist, thatcherite-lovers” instead??

          1. Steve

            Sure don’t we need a bit of balance to the AAA brigade on here??

            Don’t worry lads comfort yourself in the fact that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do (including typing away on this website) to stop FG being the biggest party after the next election.

            5 more years baby!!!

          2. classter

            Dunno, I reckon any half-genuine Thatcherite would be pretty despondent with FG’s performance to date.

            The PDs, even FF were much more radical about right-wing reform.

  3. ollie

    “After I looked up where Davos was on my Atari, I headed for the airport where I met a man with a table tennis bat in each hand. When I engaged him in conversation he put his ear defenders on and signalled the nearby Airbus to bring the engines to 100% thrust. The ensuing blast reminded me of my time sitting beside Joan in the Dail.
    Anyway, I fixed the Irish economy and an awaiting my statue to be cast in bull s h i t and erected in Castlebar mart.

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      I don’t think they let him loose. If it was up to them they would keep him locked in a room.
      It’s more likely he escaped. Probably during transportation, maybe smashing through the wall of the van with his neck.

    2. Neilo

      @Dav: hey man, you can’t have it both ways. You don’t get to shut down debate with name calling and then invite a discussion.

  4. Eoin

    The US economy is ‘doing alright’? Hmmm. I’m not so sure about that. Obama says they’re doing alright. But 290 Walmart closures across the country suggest otherwise. They’ve also been fudging their statistics for years.
    I’ve heard the big issues at this Davos are, lack of liquidity in the system and central banks’ inability to intervene and ‘help’ anymore. They can’t move interest rates and the quantitative easing has only served to make the rich richer (heard about the Oxfam report stating 62 people own as much as everyone else combined on the planet?).
    Still, despite the fact money printing has not boosted markets, I reckon they’ll keep printing, keep debasing the currencies. They don’t know what else to do. Because there is nothing else they can do. And If the system is going to collapse, it is already moribund, then they’ll make sure their insider pals will get massive low interest, freshly printed money loans to buy up everything of actual solid value first.

  5. David

    Well, the discussion was about ‘inequality’ and that’s exactly what Kenny was rabbiting on about. i.e. “we defend 100 per cent the authenticity of the way we do business with international companies”

  6. Tish Mahorey

    A champion of Austerity, the policy of creating a divided society of corrupt rich who oppress and exploit the majority by undermining workers rights, deregulating industries, privatising the activities of Government, oppressive surveillance, dismantling of civil rights, anti-intellectualism, corporatising of education, corruption of free speech and media, criminalisation of protest and political opposition.

  7. Count Chuckula

    (5, Harbourmaster Place)[]

    1. David

      I knew it – our Enda was telling the truth! He said, “We don’t do brass plate companies in Ireland” and there it is in the Irish Times – “So many companies are listed in the marble-tiled, plant-filled foyer that there are no brass plates”. He’s vindicated, long live Enda.

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