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Republicans in the House of Representatives are planning to propose a major reform of US corporate taxation and President Trump is reported to be "warming" to it after terming the plan "too complicated" last month. Last Friday Kevin Brady, the Ways and Means Committee chairman, said "when combined with the other historic reforms we are proposing, it will eliminate every tax incentive for businesses to move jobs, headquarters, and research and development outside the United States."

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The three-leaf clover or shamrock has for long been a symbol of Ireland (see our logo above) and it's particularly associated with St. Patrick's Day — Ireland's national day on 17 March. In the United States where some 40 million people are of Irish descent, it has been a tradition in recent decades to present the president with a bowl of shamrock on St. Patrick's Day but this year there are calls for Enda Kenny, the taoiseach (Irish prime minister), to decline an invitation to the White House to protest President Trump's ban on travel to the United States by residents of seven mainly Muslim countries.

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Last month Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, told an audience in Liverpool, the once thriving port city of North-West England, that Britain has suffered its "first lost decade since the 1860s" when "Karl Marx was scribbling in the British Library." The governor said that "Over the past decade real earnings have grown at the slowest rate since the mid-19th century." Two weeks before Paul Johnson, the chief of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said average real earnings in 2021 will be below the 2008 level — "One cannot stress enough how dreadful that is, without real earnings growth. We have certainly not seen a period remotely like it in the last 70 years."

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In advance of the expected publication today of the full European Commission ruling on Apple's tax agreements with Ireland, the Irish Government published early Monday morning a summary of its appeal to the European Court of Justice. In a nutshell, the result it is seeking is a Lawyers 1 Commonsense 0 win in respect of arrangements that would be considered massive fraud if the case involved a typical European SME (small and medium enterprises).

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Despite the US economy doubling in size in inflation-adjusted terms in the 34 years from 1980 to 2014, a new paper suggests that "almost all of the meager growth in real bottom 50% post-tax income since the 1970s comes from Medicare and Medicaid (the federal programs for old and poor people). Excluding those two transfers, average bottom 50% post-tax income would have stagnated around $20,000 since the late 1970s. The bottom half of the adult population has thus been shut out from economic growth for over 40 years, and the paltry increase in their disposable income has been absorbed by increased health spending."

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In December 1956 the Oireachtas approved a 50% tax credit on profits from increased export sales, which within months would be raised to 100%. Low or no corporate tax would become a keystone of Ireland's successful drive for foreign investment. However, sixty years after the first moves on tax, Brexit including a low UK corporation tax rate, and expected tax reform in the US, are unmasking Ireland's economic vulnerabilities.

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Irish Economy View All

12
Feb
2017
8
Feb
2017
6
Feb
2017

Republicans in the House of Representatives are planning to propose a major reform of US corporate taxation and President Trump is reported to be "warming" to it after terming the plan "too complicated" last month. Last Friday Kevin Brady, the Ways and Means Committee chairman, said "when combined with the other historic reforms we are proposing, it will eliminate every tax incentive for businesses to move jobs, headquarters, and research and development outside the United States."

Read more

Europe View All

2
Feb
2017

The Financial Times on Monday published an interview with Trump's trade council chief who criticised Germany for using a "grossly undervalued" euro to "exploit" the US and its EU partners — while this echoes the US president's knee-jerk protectionist position, the US policy makers are likely to ignore the right lessons from Germany's manufacturing success.

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19
Jan
2017

Last month Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, told an audience in Liverpool, the once thriving port city of North-West England, that Britain has suffered its "first lost decade since the 1860s" when "Karl Marx was scribbling in the British Library." The governor said that "Over the past decade real earnings have grown at the slowest rate since the mid-19th century." Two weeks before Paul Johnson, the chief of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said average real earnings in 2021 will be below the 2008 level — "One cannot stress enough how dreadful that is, without real earnings growth. We have certainly not seen a period remotely like it in the last 70 years."

Read more

30
Dec
2016

Global View All

24
Jan
2017
16
Jan
2017
7
Dec
2016

Despite the US economy doubling in size in inflation-adjusted terms in the 34 years from 1980 to 2014, a new paper suggests that "almost all of the meager growth in real bottom 50% post-tax income since the 1970s comes from Medicare and Medicaid (the federal programs for old and poor people). Excluding those two transfers, average bottom 50% post-tax income would have stagnated around $20,000 since the late 1970s. The bottom half of the adult population has thus been shut out from economic growth for over 40 years, and the paltry increase in their disposable income has been absorbed by increased health spending."

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Innovation View All

16
Dec
2016

High-growth firms (HGFs) are not typically high-tech firms, just as the word 'startup' may not refer to a new tech company despite the common misusage in the lexicons of politics, business and journalism. Policy makers also need to be aware that rapid growth of HGFs is typically not sustained.

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2
Dec
2016
28
Oct
2016

Venture capital investments in Europe fell sharply in the third quarter of this year and this week the Financial Times reported on a speech in London which put Europe's tech woes in stark terms. However, while policy makers should give attention to innovation in economies, just focussing on the tech/ digital sector is a road to economic and political failure.

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