Apple appeal "morally wrong, politically dishonest and economically stupid" - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has described as "morally wrong, politically dishonest and economically stupid" the decision of the Government to appeal the EU Commission's ruling regarding Apple's unpaid taxes in Ireland.
Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg during a debate on Apple with Commissioner Vestager, Mr Carthy said:
“I have stood in this chamber on countless occasions to defend the rights of national parliaments to set their own tax rates. Sinn Féin will always defend Ireland’s sovereignty as we have on every occasion it has been attacked by the European Commission, including on taxation matters.
“But this ruling is not one of those occasions.
“I’m sure there are federalists in this room scratching their heads wondering what’s happened to their best friends in the Irish political establishment. The people who the EU could always depend on.
“When the Commission said jump to a savage austerity agenda, they simply asked “how harsh”? When the EU said €64 billion in private bank debt should be placed on the shoulders of the Irish people, or when you’ve demanded new water and property taxes - your friends in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil quickly capitulated.
“When you propose trade deals with investment courts that would do more to undermine sovereignty than any commission ruling - your Irish friends proudly say ‘we’ll champion that for you’.
“But today, the Commission’s buddies in Ireland are biting back. Not in the interests of the Irish people or the Irish economy, but in the interests of the wealthiest corporations in the world and their global web of tax avoidance.
“This ruling has no effect whatsoever on our tax rate or our ability to attract investment or create jobs. Any investors seeking to remain or come to Ireland can be assured of a talented workforce and a 12.5% corporate tax rate that we will protect. They just won’t be assured of sweetheart deals that will allow them to dodge billions in tax.”
Carthy, a member of the Panama Papers inquiry and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, continued: “The appeal is morally wrong, politically dishonest and economically stupid.”
“We have a housing and health crisis in Ireland, many of our public services are savagely underfunded. €13 billion or even a fraction of it could help solve these problems.
“Rather than spending Irish taxpayers money on this appeal, our government should be restoring our international reputation by ensuring that Ireland will never again be part of the international tax avoidance racket.”