Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:21 pm on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 2:21 pm, 21st March 2007

No, of course not. If the hon. Lady studies the facts, she will see that Ireland was growing very strongly before it entered the euro. Nor was it huge quantities of European cash, which is the other bogus explanation that people sometimes come up with. Ireland was a bigger beneficiary in its years of slower growth, and most of that money went into the agricultural sector, which has not led the Irish economic recovery. The Irish economy has been buoyed up by the great success of very low corporation tax rate, so large numbers of businesses have gone there and set up there, clustered around the larger companies. That shows that lower tax rates work and generate a much bigger cake. Ireland is not skimping her public services. She can afford to have a lower percentage of total incomes taken in tax because she is now richer. People are better off in Ireland, on average.