May 20 2008
I’m not the biggest fan of Minister Dick Roche at the best of times. Fianna Fáil hid him away during the General Election, so why on earth they would allow him to run their Lisbon Treaty Campaign is beyond me.
Today, he writes in the Independent. It is a response piece to an article by Bruce Arnold. Arnold’s assertion was that we should vote No as giving control of our corporation tax over to the EU will reduce our competitiveness and place the fate of our jobs in the arms of the Government of Europe. Looking at the facts, as laid out by Roche, he refutes Arnold’s claim and I must give credit where it is due, he definitely cleared up a few questions I had on Europe’s responsibility for our tax rates if the Treaty were to be ratified. It is very clear that our corporation tax rates cannot be touched by the EU, but they have more or less carte blanche with our indirect taxes.
He goes on to berate Arnold for his errors and misgivings, pointing out that the Institute of Chartered Accountants have endorsed the Treaty, the American Chamber of Commerce and IBEC have all endorsed the Treaty and they would not do this if there was any issues over competitiveness and the corporation tax.
He criticises Arnold for having not read the Treaty correctly or fully. But here, Minister Roche further nails home the entire problem with this Treaty. It is virtually impossible to understand; it is near unintelligible at times; and is someone like Bruce Arnold, an intelligent, educated, political journalist, cannot fully comprehend what it is saying, then how on earth can the rest of us be expected to make an informed judgement? I suspect Dick Roche may be one of the very few people in this country who can truly claim to have an understanding of the Treaty. This is not good enough.