Sinn Féin has made it clear to top multinationals that it has no issue with Ireland’s corporate tax rate and will not raise it if elected, the new chairman of IDA Ireland has said.
However, Feargal O’Rourke has revealed that the party is determined to hike personal taxes on top earners, in a move that has prompted serious concerns among business leaders.
O’Rourke, the former head of PwC Ireland, said Sinn Féin has “been very much on an outreach programme” with big businesses since the last election to reassure them it will “not rock any boats” should it gain power.
Senior figures in the party, including leader Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty, its finance spokesperson, have spoken to “a lot of US companies” to explain its policy priorities and assuage concerns over its stance on corporate taxes, he said.
O’Rourke warned that Sinn Féin’s plan to target high-net-worth individuals with tax increases will be one of the key “battlegrounds in the next election”.
Fergal O’Brien, executive director of lobbying and influence at Ibec, said the business lobby group was happy with Sinn Féin’s enterprise policy, but warned that its stance on personal tax was a cause of concern among companies.
“We don’t see any significant differential on corporate or enterprise tax generally,” O’Brien said, referring to the gap between Sinn Féin and the existing government parties.
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