The decision by the world’s biggest countries to overhaul the international tax rules have grave consequences for Ireland. The changes proposed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) yesterday inevitably mean an end to tax-avoidance schemes such as the so-called ‘Double Irish’, which enables foreign companies to channel profits though their operations here to the Caribbean to avoid paying almost any taxes anywhere.

That loophole in the international tax laws was not created by Ireland, but we have benefited from it as companies shifted operations from their home countries to Ireland for tax reasons.

The authorities here have known for some time that the abolition of the ‘Double Irish’ was inevitable, but adopted a ‘No Surrender’ attitude. That stance has played well at home, but done us few favours overseas.

We need to compromise on these schemes, knowing that this might cost jobs, while doing everything we can to preserve the corporate tax rate of 12.5pc which secures hundreds of thousands of jobs and is currently not under threat.

A possible end to the 12.5pc rate, and not the ending of the ‘Double Irish’, is the real threat to the Irish economy. The 12.5pc corporation tax rate is a major factor – although it is only a factor – in why Ireland has been so successful at attracting foreign direct Investment.

OECD Chief 488411089