We don’t want to be known for dodgy tax deals - Martin Kenny TD
Speaking in the Dáil today on the Apple tax avoidance debate Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny said:
“Today in the Dáil debate on Apple, I have heard Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael pretend that their concerns about the commission’s ruling relates to our 12.5% corporation tax rate. This is nonsense.
“For the record Sinn Féin fully stand by our 12.5% rate, however this debate is not about the rate. The Commission has explicitly stated that ‘This decision does not call into question Ireland's general tax system or its corporate tax rate.’
“This issue centres on a dodgy deal with Revenue and Apple, known as tax rulings in 1991 and in 2007, which resulted in a rate of tax of 0.005% in 2014 as opposed to 12.5%.
“The reputation of Ireland is the other big talking point and that is fine, but for anyone following this, the damage was done to our reputation in the US congress in 2013, when Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, admitted to doing a tax deal with our Revenue Commissioners. For Ireland to appeal this finding is just prolonging the reputational damage.
“The Commission rightly has a problem with the fact that it was here in Ireland that the ‘head office’, a sort of decoy, was created by Apple and authorised by Revenue, and into which massive profits were moved and the Irish Revenue Commissioners agreed to allow this and not to apply the 12.5% tax in direct contravention of Irish tax legislation.
“While the international image of Ireland is important; the reality is also important for the thousands of people who pay their taxes and don’t get any head office type arrangement. They are very annoyed and want a level playing field and a sense of justice around taxation and fair play for everyone.
“People also want a strong, solvent, balanced economy that provides a good health and education system and a safety net if they need it and they understand that taxes have to be collected for that to exist.
“In the past these rulings were flawed, government should admit what they have done and commit that it will not happen again. We need to remove any cloud that might be hanging over us, that might have the potential to put off potential FDI locating here. We don’t want to be known for dodgy deals.”