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Gerry Adams TD challenges Varadkar over Apple scandal

4 October, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD challenged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar following today’s news that the European Commission is to take the Irish government to the European Court of Justice over its refusal to collect taxes from Apple that the Commission has determined is owed to this state.

The Sinn Féin leader also called on the government to save Irish taxpayers millions in court cases by dropping its appeal to the Commission’s judgement last year.

Speaking in the Dáil, Gerry Adams said:

“The European Commission confirmed this morning that it is taking this state to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to €13 billion of tax due from Apple. 

"In August 2016 the Commission ordered Apple to pay the unpaid taxes as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid. The government has refused to collect this tax and has appealed the Commission decision to the Court of Justice.

"The European Commission has run out of patience. Commissioner Vestager today said one year later this state 'has still not recovered the money, also not in part'. She concluded that 'member states need to make sufficient progress to restore competition. That is why we have today decided to refer Ireland to the EU Court for failing to implement our decision.'

"Next week, the Minister for Finance will deliver a Budget where he will undoubtedly tell the Irish people that resources are limited and the priority must be to balance the books.

"The fact is that the government will now have to pay huge amounts for two court cases. Its appeal to the European Court against the Commission’s decision has already cost 3.6 million euro and it will have to defend in court the Commission’s decision to take us it the ECJ.

"Today the Taoiseach told me that the availability of drugs like Translarna – for five children with a rare form of multiple Dystrophy – is determined by money. Millions could be saved by scrapping these two court cases.”

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