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Ireland, Hungary unite against EU tax harmonization

Ireland, Hungary unite against EU tax harmonization

DUBLIN: The leaders of Hungary and Ireland have both expressed their opposition to the prospect of additional tax harmonization within the EU.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was in Hungary to visit his counterpart, Viktor Orban.

Reuters reported that, during a joint news conference following their meeting, Orban said that his Government “would not like to see any regulation in the EU, which would bind Hungary’s hands in terms of tax policy, be it corporate tax, or any other tax.”

Orban described taxation as “an important component of competition.”

“We do not consider tax harmonization a desired direction,” he added.

Orban’s comments were echoed by Varadkar, who explained that the two governments share the view that “we should continue to have competition among [EU] member states in terms of tax policy.”

Varadkar stressed that both Ireland and Hungary believe that “countries should set their own taxation rates.” This should apply for both corporation and income taxes.

The European Commission is continuing to press for the adoption of its common consolidated corporation tax proposal. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested that the EU should move from a system of unanimous voting to qualified majority voting on key tax policy issues.

Ireland’s Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, has in the past made it clear that the Irish Government “will not support any change to existing EU voting rights on corporation tax.”