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Julien Behal/PA Wire

Enda Kenny: Our corporation tax is not in question from anyone, ok?

The Taoiseach has defended Ireland’s corporation tax regime against questions about ‘sweetheart’ deals for some US multinationals.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has defended Ireland’s corporation tax regime in the face of questions about whether some giant multinational companies were given ‘sweetheart’ deals.

The allegations that companies negotiated a special deal in return for locating some of their business in this country surfaced following revelations at a recent US Senate committee meeting where Ireland was described as the ‘Holy Grail of tax avoidance’.

The European Commission has asked three countries – including Ireland – to clarify their tax arrangements with multinationals in the wake of the allegations, and an Oireachtas sub-committee has been discussion the issue over the past two days.

However speaking at a jobs announcement in Dublin this evening, the Taoiseach gave a robust defence of Ireland’s tax regime.

“Our 12.5 per cent corporation tax remains a cornerstone of Irish industry policy and is not in question from any quarters,” he said.

He echoed comments from other Government TDs speaking to the Oireachtas sub-committee meeting today, where Fine Gael’s John Deasy said that Ireland has annoyed some countries ‘by being so successful and by attracting so many companies into Ireland.

At yesterday’s meeting of the Sub-Commiteee on Global Taxation, both the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners strongly denied that any company in Ireland was given special breaks on corporation tax.

“Ireland does not do special tax deals,” Gary Tobin of the Department of Finance told the Committee.

“There was no sweetheart deal for Apple” in Ireland >

Multinational companies are not here just for tax breaks – Burton >

Vodafone paid British Government over €1 billion Irish subsidiary >

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