Sniff the air around Ireland’s regime for attracting foreign investment and, for the first time in decades, you will pick up the distinct whiff of uncertainty. It isn’t yet noxious or even pungent. It is not strong enough to sting the eyes or invade the throat. But a faint hum of the unknown definitely hangs there.
The Government will deny this. So will the State officials in IDA Ireland and elsewhere whose job it is to tempt multinationals here. All will herald the prospect of Ireland agreeing to hike its corporation tax rate from 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent to join an international tax deal as providing “certainty”. And it is a truism that investors crave certainty above all else before committing capital.