Government appeal on Apple state aid case to begin next week – Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has criticised the government for proceeding with its wasteful appeal against the European Commission’s state aid ruling on the sweetheart deals provided to technology giant Apple. The hearing of the joint case of Apple and the Irish government against the Commission will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday (September 17-18) in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Carthy, a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said: “Fine Gael is spending millions of the Irish people’s euros in an attempt to avoid recouping the €13 billion in unpaid taxes from the wealthiest corporation in the world – at a time when our health service is falling to pieces, when there are thousands of homeless families across this state and when Brexit is set to cause massive economic disruption to our country.
“This appeal is an act of betrayal against Irish taxpayers, families and small businesses, who don’t have the privilege of not paying their taxes and who suffer the consequences of our crumbling public services.
“The government claims that its appeal aims to ‘protect Ireland’s international reputation’. This is nonsensical. The only way to defend our international reputation is to shut down the tax avoidance scams that Ireland has become notorious for.
“Not only is the government appealing against this legitimate decision; it has also actively helped Apple set up a new tax avoidance structure, using the capital allowances for intellectual property, ensuring that Ireland remains at the centre of the company’s tax-dodging strategy.
“Our reputation continues to take a battering each year that the government fails to act. Just last week it was reported that pharmaceutical giant Allergan’s Irish subsidiary had paid 7 billion euros out in dividends, bringing its reportable profits down to under one billion euros. But the company didn’t even pay a cent on this reduced amount because it uses the Double Irish structure with Bermuda!
“Also last week, the IMF released a report that placed Ireland in a list of the top 10 tax havens in the world, alongside the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland. These countries are responsible for the growth in ‘phantom’ investments – so-called FDI that in reality passes through empty corporate shells in order to avoid tax. The report specifically singles out Ireland over the continuing use of the Double Irish, and reports that two-thirds of our FDI is made up of these ‘phantom’ investments.
“If the government truly wants to restore Ireland’s reputation on the international stage then it should drop its foolish and wasteful appeal against the Apple state aid ruling and accept the money owed by the company to taxpayers. It should act, finally, to end the tax avoidance techniques we have become notorious for, starting with the Double Irish and the capital allowance regime.”