Even Sinn Fein Backs Ireland’s 12.5% Corporate Tax Rate

Ireland’s Sinn Fein reaffirmed its commitment to the 12.5 percent corporate tax rate which has drawn companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to Dublin.

Laying out its election manifesto in Dublin on Tuesday, the party said it would maintain the rate in government even as it detailed plans to raise taxes for high earners and examine the introduction of a wealth levy.

Low corporate taxes are the cornerstone of Irish economic policy, and all four of the biggest political parties have promised to keep the 12.5 percent rate. The current Fine Gael-Labour party administration has said it will fight any adverse decision from the European Commission following its probe into Apple Inc.’s tax arrangements in Ireland.

“The parties don’t tend to have huge ideological differences -- even the hard left parties aren’t pushing massively to raise the corporate tax rate,” said Eoin O’Malley, a politics lecturer at Dublin City University. “It’s a talisman of Irish economic policy.”

While Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army, led the polls as recently as a year ago, its surge has stalled before the Feb. 26 general election. Two polls over the past week put the party’s support at about 17 percent, behind Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

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