Ireland has lost its golden-calf tax rate, but we must still be able to make our own way

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Ireland is about to hand over its gigantic golden calf to be melted down and redistributed. We couldn’t hold on to it indefinitely, but a 24-hour guard was maintained on that prized possession to make sure we kept it for as long as possible.

he golden calf is better known as our highly competitive 12.5pc corporate tax rate, which for nearly two decades has provided exchequer revenues to fund state services and jobs for people who might otherwise have had to emigrate. That tax rate, a cornerstone of Irish industrial policy, has served us well.

But the winds of change have been blowing in Ireland’s direction for quite some time, murmuring about comprehensive reform of the global tax architecture. Now the whispers have escalated to shouts.

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