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Red herrings can’t change the fact that Ireland is owed €13bn plus interest - Doherty

7 September, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD has criticised government and establishment ‘opposition’ parties Fianna Fáil and Labour’s support for appealing the Apple Tax ruling, which ordered the Irish government to recoup €13 billion plus interest worth of tax.  He said the EU decision was the correct one and no amount of red herrings could change the evidence.

Speaking during today’s Dáil motion to appeal the European Commission’s decision that Ireland provided unlawful State aid to Apple, Deputy Doherty said:

“The decision by the EU Commission to find that this State has unlawfully given Apple an advantage over every other business, big or small, in this State over the course of decades was for many a shock. For people familiar with this area of Irish tax it came as no shock.  The faux shock and sudden burst of interest in Irish sovereignty and other red herrings should be ignored.

“This has been coming down the rails for some time. Those of us who have tried to raise this issue have been physically shouted down by people who are now Ministers for mentioning the word “Apple”.  Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour have buried their head in the sand but now even the sand has been removed.

“When I argued for the State to close down the Double Irish I was told at least three times by Minister Noonan that this was not Ireland’s problem.  When I first raised the issue of Stateless companies exploiting Ireland to avoid tax I was treated like a nuisance and told I causing the country reputational damage.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fail just don’t get it. This is not about the Commission overreaching, it is not some sort of attack on small nations, it is not about jealousy and there is no threat to our jobs. What there is is evidence of Apple getting special treatment by this State over decades.

“It is a cynical lie to suggest there is any new threat to our Corporation Tax rate in last week’s move. The Minister and others here will have experience of State Aid and how it works.  Trying to mix that up with some new attempt to undermine sovereignty is dishonest.

“The EU have unwittingly unleashed the most unlikely patriots who, remarkably, had hidden their passion for Irish sovereignty throughout their entire careers. Not even when the Troika strolled into Dublin dictating brutal cuts to our social system and public services, did these brave Irish patriots show their true colour.  Their bluster is as transparent as Apple’s affairs were murky.

“We need to know where the political responsibility lies for cutting these deals that have cost the Irish people far more than even the €13bn plus interest we might hopefully get back. We need to know why the Revenue Commissioners would feel empowered to sit down and make a deal with a company that limited its effective tax rate.”

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