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Minister Noonan’s answers expose folly behind Apple Tax appeal – Conway-Walsh

2 February, 2017 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

During questioning of the Minister of Finance and the Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners in the Finance Committee today, Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has questioned the advantage that Apple had for years over indigenous industries.

Questioning the merit in going ahead with an appeal, Senator Conway-Walsh cited the evidence of Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to the Committee on Tuesday saying:

“In light of Commissioner Vestager’s comments that, ‘the large, large, large majority of unpaid taxes would be due in Ireland’, and not to another country in European country, do you now accept that this can no longer be offered as a valid reason to go ahead with the appeal?”

On the issue of the Government appealing the commission’s decision that they must collect in taxes owed, the Senator from Mayo said:

“I asked Minister Noonan how much the appeal had cost so far. He gave me a figure of €1.8 million. That is after 5 months of the appeal being made and it is predicted that it could last between four and six years. This is a huge amount of money. The Government has a duty to explain to the taxpayer why it is necessary to spend this amount and what benefit it will be to Ireland. Minister Noonan answered neither of these questions.

“I am more convinced after today that the appeal is futile and a waste of money. Minister Noonan was unable to justify the appeal being taken or explain the benefits to this country. At times he hid behind the appeal itself as an excuse for not answering the most basic of questions from myself and my colleague Pearse Doherty about the nature of the Apple subsidiaries operating in Ireland during the period.” 

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