Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described the idea that the Irish Government would appeal an EU finding, which requires Apple to repay Ireland €13 billion that it received in illegal State, as unbelievable.
He said that the idea that any Irish Government would dismiss or appeal a decision that would bring billions of euros into the national exchequer is bizarre.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“The majority of Irish tax paying citizens will be absolutely fuming as they look on with disgust at the Government’s antics and proposal to appeal a finding that could mean absolutely billions of euros to the Irish exchequer.
“It is bizarre and unbelievable, but comes from the same mind-set that decided to appeal a ruling that would have prevented the demolition of the historic Moore Street terrace in Dublin. Similarly, the disgraceful decision to appeal this EU finding will be cloaked in words like the national interest or that it is somehow defending our reputation.
“The same supposed need to defend our reputation that led billions of private banking and speculator debts being unfairly forced onto the shoulders of Irish taxpayers.
“The Apple case throws a bright light on the shady deals of previous Fine Gael and Fianna led Governments, as well as the great lengths that they went to facilitate multinational corporations to pay minuscule amounts of tax, or to avoid paying tax altogether.
“This has allowed Apple Inc to last year hold $200 billion in cash, with almost 90 per cent of this – $181 billion – being held offshore to avoid paying tax.
“Apple representatives have themselves testified to a US Senate subcommittee that since the early 1990s, the Irish government calculated Apple’s taxable income in such a way as to produce an effective tax rate in the low single digits, which from 2003 has been 2% or less.
“The Irish government position is untenable.”
Deputy Crowe continued:
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were unable or unwilling to stand up to Europe when Irish citizens were saddled with billions in banking debt. They refuse to stand up to Europe on water charges.
“They stood with Europe on crippling austerity measures.
“But now by some miracle cure they have found their voice and are willing to take Europe to court, not to protect homeowners from mortgage distress, not to protect our right to water, and certainly not to protect our right to retrospective bank recapitalisation.
“No, they are standing up to Europe in defence of hugely profitable multinational corporations not paying their fair share of taxes.
“Apple is a major employer in Cork, and it is welcome that Apple has confirmed that they intend to continue investing and employing here. Ireland will continue to be attractive place for companies to invest if the Government doesn’t appeal this ruling.
“This is simply about about our tax structure and tax justice, and there is absolutely no justification to challenge a ruling against this deal, which amounted to illegal State aid. Ordinary companies and SMEs were given no special deals, nor were our self-employed, low-paid workers, or those struggling to make ends meet.
“The Government should stop spinning, telling lies and half-truths, and face up to the positive potential of this ruling.”