Appealing Apple Tax ruling unjust - Ó Laoghaire
Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire today stated that it would be wrong for the Government to appeal the EU Commission ruling that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13billion, and that it should be put to a vote
“Their decision to appeal this ruling should be put to a vote in the Dáil, and my party will be bringing forward a motion to oppose such an appeal. Such a move of appeal is enormously frustrating for workers who are paying additional austerity taxes and seeing little in return.
“The government should fully accept the EU Commission ruling. The argument made by government for appealing the ruling is to protect Ireland’s reputation, but unfortunately the damage has already been done and an appeal has the potential to further damage our international reputation, and will further some beliefs that we are already a tax haven.
“The real question amongst the everyday citizen will be as to why the government, and indeed, Fianna Fáil, have been so quick to challenge this ruling, yet when it comes to the struggles that ordinary people have faced in recent years, they have failed to stand up to Europe. Not to protect our right to water, nor to protect our right to retrospective bank recapitalisation, but on unpaid tax.
“Apple is a major employer in Cork, and it is welcome that Apple has confirmed that they intend to continue investing and employing here. Many of the loopholes involved in these unpaid taxes such as the Double Irish have been closed already, and Ireland and Cork continues to be an attractive place to do business due to our corporation tax rate, and high levels of education among other factors.
“This is about our tax structure and tax justice. Ordinary companies and SMEs were given no special deals, nor were our self-employed, low-paid workers, or those struggling to make ends meet.
“There was a systematic facilitation of tax avoidance. In 2014 Apple’s tax rate was 0.005% in Ireland according to EU, €50 for every million euro in profits. This was a grotesque mockery of our 12.5% corporation tax rate.
"Decisions on taxation need to be taken carefully in the context of our employment strategy. However, this was money that could have been put to use paying for huge amounts of housing and additional home help hours. It would have paid for the Cork-Limerick motorway a dozen times over. To appeal what is a clear injustice to ordinary Irish taxpayers and businesses would be wrong."