Facebook has confirmed it plans to hire hundreds of new workers in Ireland next year as part of the expansion of its operations.
Sources indicated that the company may employ as many as 800 new people, an increase of more than a third to its 2,200 strong Irish workforce.
Speaking after meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the news of the new jobs was “very positive” as it showed that Facebook was “very committed to Ireland”.
Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook Ireland, said the company was delighted to be expanding its operations, noting that Ireland was “an important part of Facebook’s story and one of the most vibrant tech communities in the world”.
Mr Varadkar was speaking on the second day of a three-day trip to Seattle, San Jose and San Francisco. Asked about proposals by the Republican party to cut the US corporate tax rate to 20 per cent, Mr Varadkar said he did not expect the proposals to have much of an impact on Ireland.
“As a country we believe that individuals countries should set their own tax rates so it wouldn’t make any sense for us to criticise,” he said.
“What we always say about our tax rate is that it is constant, we have a 12.5 per cent tax rate now for corporations for decades and that has withstood changes of government, it has withstood recessions and periods of economic expansion so very much our tax offering is as much about the certainty as the rate.”
Mr Varadkar added: “It has never been the case that a low corporate tax rate is all we have to offer. In my meetings with Facebook, they wanted to know about the talent pool, about whether we will be staying at the heart of Europe. Tax has only ever been a small part of what we offer.”