Options for Ireland's bailout exit in IMF paper

3
Enda Kenny is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the International Monetary Fund is preparing a paper to look at the options that might support Ireland's exit from the bailout.

It follows his meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

One of the options that may be discussed is the possibility of the IMF providing a backstop, or extra liquidity, in order to reassure investors when a country is returning to full market access.

However, it is understood that one of the options will not be an extension of the maturities of the €22bn IMF portion of Ireland's bailout.

RTÉ News understands that Ms Lagarde has been invited to Dublin for an event in March.

Earlier, Mr Kenny defended Ireland's 12.5% corporate tax rate, saying it is "transparent across the entire spectrum".

Mr Kenny said the tax regime in Europe in general "may lead companies to make decisions about their tax rates", but that Ireland is not a tax haven for unorthodox practices.

He told a panel discussion at the forum that Ireland's tax regime is "very clear, very transparent".

"Our tax regime is a national competence, and it's not changing."

He was responding to a question from the moderator about the prospect of treaty change at EU level, which might affect Ireland's corporate tax rate.

World needs fairer tax system - Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron told an audience of business leaders that the world needed "a fairer tax system".

He said: "Some companies navigate their way around legitimate tax systems and even low tax rates with an army of clever accountants."

It was not clear, however, if he was referring to Ireland on the issue.

Mr Cameron added that some businesses "aren't seen to pay their taxes that is corrosive to the public trust".

He said there needed to be debate about tax evasion and tax avoidance, an issue he said had attracted popular and political interest across the world.

He also said the Group of Eight industrialised countries should focus on countering corporate tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

He said: "Any businesses who think that they can carry on dodging that fair share or that they can keep on selling to the UK and setting up ever-more complex tax arrangements abroad to squeeze their tax bill right down, well, they need to wake up and smell the coffee because the public who buy from them have had enough."

He also warned European leaders that any attempt to shoehorn countries into ever deeper political union was a mistake that Britain would not be a part of.

"Countries in Europe have their histories, their traditions, their institutions, want their own sovereignty, their ability to make their own choices, and to try and shoehorn countries into a centralised political union would be a great mistake for Europe," Mr Cameron said.

In a speech yesterday, Mr Cameron said a referendum on EU membership would be held by the end of 2017, provided he wins a second term.

He said that while Britain did not want to retreat from the world, public disillusionment with the bloc was at "an all-time high".

Mr Kenny was invited to open European stock markets by banging the gong at the CNBC tent in Davos this morning.

In an interview carried live on CNBC shortly afterwards, he said he was continuing to press the case for Ireland to win concessions on bank debt.

He also said that he wanted to see Britain as a driver of the European single market and that it was central to the future of the EU.

Related Audio & Video

Ireland's corporate tax regime 'transparent' - Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach tells World Economic Forum Ireland hitting targets
Kenny says support building for bailout programme exit