Ireland is a hot topic–something that excites business entrepreneurs and makes the US and European governments seethe. Recently at Utah Europe Days 2013, successful entrepreneur and CEO Fred Lampropolous shocked his business-friendly colleagues by declaring that he would move his entire business to Ireland if he could. (Utah is perceived by many as being favorable to business.)
The United States Senate is hardly Ireland’s only critic on tax matters. Britain, France and other European Union countries have long been annoyed by Irish policies. During hearings in the British Parliament last week, Margaret Hodge, a member of the opposition Labour Party and chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, which oversees taxation, upbraided Matt Brittin, Google’s vice president for North and Central Europe, that the company’s tax practices were “devious, calculated and, in my view, unethical.”
Even before the Senate subcommittee invited Mr. Cook to testify, the British prime minister, David Cameron, declared that the topic would be a focus of the meeting of the Group of 8 richest countries he plans to convene next month at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.
“We need a truly global solution,” Mr. Cameron wrote in a letter to Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, in April. “As I am sure you will agree, the path to reform starts with the basic recognition that current global tax rules do not reflect the modern and globalized economy that our citizens live and trade in.”