I spoke today before the 2010 Global Financial Services Centres Conference. Equally important, I got to meet with some of the nation’s top economic minds.
First, the good news: Ireland has no intention of giving up its low 12.5 percent corporate tax rates.
The bad news is that Ireland is drifting in the wrong direction. Bailouts, higher spending, more red tape, and social engineering are gradually eroding the benefits generated by a better tax system. Both government and private debt are too high.
Ireland probably still belongs in the world’s top 10, as determined by Economic Freedom of the World and the Index of Economic Freedom, but that is more a reflection of how few nations enjoy genuine economic liberty.