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Richard Bruton: 'Our new tax measure is fair but you just can't stop other countries from grumbling'

The Jobs Minister says the knowledge box will keep Ireland as a competitive location for companies.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

RICHARD BRUTON SAID, “I don’t think you’ll ever see the end of countries grumbling about what other countries do in the tax arena- that would be hoping for a change in human nature.”

The Jobs Minister was addressing the criticism Ireland has recently received over the controversial Double Irish loophole on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ 1.

Speaking about Ireland’s new tax measure – the knowledge box- Bruton said, “Many countries have these structures and Ireland wants to be the best in class.

It’s not deemed to be a harmful activity…this is a well established form of investment competition.

He explained how the knowledge box designates certain income from innovation activity as having a better tax environment than normal activity.

So a lower tax rate applies to the income generated by research and development or by other novel approaches.

“You create an environment where more innovative companies can carry out activities in a tax environment that is very rewarding.”

Reputation 

The Jobs Minister added that, “Forbes ranked us number one for investment and we were determined that we won’t stay still – we want to grow on that.

Foreign investment has generated 18,000 jobs directly in the last three years and the knock on effect probably brings that closer to 30,000 jobs.

“It’s been a really important part of our recovery and we have to harness that.

“We have to continue to target ambitious countries who have many options. We’re discussing with companies what sort of knowledge box would best suit their needs.

Ireland wants to be competitive and we make no apologies for it.

Bruton quoted the Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, as saying, “We will compete hard but we will compete fair.”

He concluded that, “We’ve yet to see if other countries follow Ireland’s move …but we believe this is the right route.”

Read: Bruton: No, I’m not in America because I’m nervous about the death of the ‘Double Irish’>

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