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Santander decision shows why Apple appeal will be a waste of money – Doherty

21 December, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the ECJ’s ruling against Spain in its appeal against an EU Commission ruling on State Aid shows why the government’s decision to appeal the Apple decision will be a waste of money. Ireland joined the case as it saw the case as a test for the Apple ruling. He said the ruling means the spin that the Apple ruling was a case of the Commission exceeding its powers is now debunked.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Santander ruling will come as no surprise and only reinforces the futility of Ireland’s appeal against the Apple ruling. In September, Minister Noonan told me the State had already spent €21,000 on the case. That will only be a tiny fraction of the costs of the Apple appeal.

“Many of the same issues pertaining to the Santander case are also at the core of the Apple ruling. It is a case of the Commission ruling that a selective tax advantage amounts to State Aid. The decision by the ECJ today means an appeal against the Apple ruling is all the less likely to succeed.

“Coming a day after the EU published its very comprehensive case against Ireland in the Apple case, this ruling should be a wake-up call for the government. Appealing the Apple case will be a huge waste of money and only drag out the reputational damage to the State.

“It also debunks the spin that the Apple ruling was the act of an overly political Commissioner exceeding her powers. The ECJ’s ruling today should put an end to that red herring.

“The country only has a limited amount of political capital and, in the context of the challenge of Brexit, using up that capital in a futile head-butting contest with the Commission is not wise.

“The government should drop the appeal and save the taxpayer millions on what will only be a futile political act. Apple is free to appeal as a company and that is their right, but as a country, Ireland needs to move beyond this chapter.” 

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