Friday, 19 July 2013

The wartime origins of Irish corporation tax

A short paper that I wrote for the Irish Society of Comparative Law conference in 2012 has just been published here in the Irish Journal of Legal Studies.  It examines the UK corporation tax of 1920 and asks why it was retained in the Irish Free State even after its abolition in the reduced UK.  This is all the more surprising given that the views of UK politicians that
“[e]veryone admits it is not a good tax ... many think that it bears exceptionally heavily on enterprise and industry” (Baldwin)
“[i]t was unloved by its parents, it was reviled by its subsequent guardians, it was condemned by every party, not least by the Labour Party” (Snowden)
were widely shared in Ireland.  The article reaches surprising conclusions rooted in economic nationalism and notes the irony in Ireland being widely criticised for its excessive corporation tax rates of c.5%.

As a footnote, Ernest Blythe seems to have been an interesting character, and was known to my grandmother.

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