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Government’s Apple Tax appeal will deprive Ireland of €14 billion worth of investment – Pearse Doherty TD

17 September, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that today’s Apple tax appeal at the General Court of the European Union will deprive Ireland of investment in the coming decade and proves that the priorities of the Government are different.

He was speaking as the Government prepares its appeal of the EU Commission ruling that Apple owed Revenue €14.3 billion in tax after receiving preferential treatment since 1991.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Today the Government begins its appeal while €14.3 billion sits in an escrow account that could be used to benefit Irish citizens for decades to come. Instead the Government is prioritising the interests of Apple and international finance without any tangible benefit to the Irish people.

“The Commission found that two companies, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe, booked their European profits to a head office in Ireland with no employees and no premises, while paying as little as 0.005% tax. Given this deal was not offered to any other business in the State, the Commission found that this amounted to State aid, a conclusion that is difficult to dispute.

"The Government will claim that it is defending Irish tax sovereignty. This is to conflate the issues of tax sovereignty and State aid. Of course the State has a right to set its own tax rate, but not to offer special terms to any one company. Instead, the Government is defending the interests of Apple, and at a cost to the Irish taxpayer.

"So far, the Government has paid over €7 million in legal and consultant fees to ensure that the Irish people cannot benefit from the €14.3 billion in tax owed by Apple. It is incidental that one of the beneficiaries, PwC, which has so far received over half a million euros to appeal the case, is hosting the Finance Minister today for a tax summit.

"These are resources that could be used to tackle climate change, transform our public services and upgrade our industrial strategy which for too long has prioritised foreign multinationals rather than domestic Irish firms and innovators.

“It could be used to build over 50,000 homes. It could be used to cut almost 10% from the national debt. It could provide free public transport and roll-out free GP care for a decade with billions to spare.

“Instead, the Government will mimic the attitude of Boris Johnson towards the EU in the coming months, all to satisfy the interests of Apple and deny Ireland a windfall in investment.”

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