It is for us to say what would work in a European context if a government doesn’t get its public finances under control. It is our job to ensure the euro remains strong. - Catherine Day
You may not be interested in Catherine Day. Heck, you may never even have heard of her. But she is interested in you. Well not you personally, but your country and how it is governed. Arthur Beesley conveys the thoughts of the Irish Secretary General of the EU Commission, and her priorities make for chilling reading:
“Every country can decide its own tax policy, but that is not the end of the story,” she said at a briefing for Irish journalists.
“So if Ireland decides it wants to keep a low corporation tax, it has to deal with the deficit in some other way and we will be saying: ‘Okay, that’s your choice. If you don’t deal with it that way, how are you going to do it?’”
The Government insists it will not change the policy but certain EU officials struggle to see how it can bring the deficit below 3 per cent without reviewing the corporation tax rate.
Asked whether the commission can force a state to change its policy, Ms Day said “No, we can’t and we wouldn’t”. In the budget area, “there’s never one answer, but other answers may be more unpalatable”, she said.
“We can’t make Ireland change that, but . . . perhaps public spending will have to be slashed even more severely. But those are national choices that we will not make,” Ms Day said.
“But what we will do, because it is our job to ensure that the euro remains strong, is to say that Ireland and every other member state has to have a credible path to putting its deficit back under control . . . It is for us to say what would work in a European context if a government doesn’t get its public finances under control.”
Top EU official says keeping low tax policy means other cuts - The Irish Times - Wed, Oct 06, 2010