I have been disappointed but not surprised by the lack of comment on Edgar Morgenroth’s blog about the threat to introduce a low rate of corporation tax in Northern Ireland.
We are all well used to IDA shibboleths about the Republic of Ireland’s advantages other than the low Corporate Tax rate. We are told about the modern infrastructure, the well educated labour force (sic), EU membership and the fact that the Republic of Ireland is English- speaking. Northern Ireland has all of these as well as a dramatically lower cost base: we’ve even stopped killing each other in large numbers.
The UK already has generous R&D incentives and intellectual property incentives are already trumped by other European countries such as the Netherlands. The Republic’s only remaining advantages may be its sovereign ability to skate close to the wind of tax haven status: relaxed rules on transfer pricing, absence of controlled foreign company laws, limited rules on thin capitalisation and its skill at negotiating double tax treaties.
Is that all the Republic has? Surely, I’ve missed something!