Emerald Isle to keep 12.5pc rate for corporate tax

Ireland’s bailout will not require it to raise its corporation tax rate, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said yesterday.

Eurozone nations had heaped pressure on Ireland to slash its much-envied 12.5 per cent rate.

Austria had led calls for the beleaguered nation to be forced to hike the rate as punishment for its financial failures.

The rate has allowed it to compete as a major business hub. Firms including Google and Microsoft have their European domicile there and soon-to-merge Greencore and Northern Foods say they plan to move to Ireland for tax purposes.