Obama attacks Ireland over tax
IRELAND'S dealings with multinational companies are under fresh assault after the Obama administration moved to close tax advantages that encourage US companies to move offshore.
President Barack Obama has pledged that the new steps will discourage big firms from pursuing corporate tax-avoidance deals known as "inversions".
These deals involve US companies taking advantage of lower tax rates elsewhere and have become increasingly common in recent years.
The call will put pressure on Ireland, which has effectively used its 12.5pc corporate tax rate to attract hundreds of US companies over the past 20 years.
About 150,000 people are employed by multinationals here, many of them leading technology, pharmaceutical or finance firms.
Ireland is already in the global spotlight for the now notorious 'Double Irish' scheme, used to route global profits through companies here then on to tax havens.