Carthy: ‘We want our money back’

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has demanded the Irish government immediately act to recover the €13 billion plus interest owed to the state by Apple.

Carthy said: “Following today’s ruling by the Commission, the facts are indisputable. The sweetheart deals provided to Apple by Irish Revenue in 1991 and 2007 provided an unfair selective advantage to Apple over its competitors. The result was that this global technology giant – the second wealthiest corporation in the world – was paying a rate of just 0.005% tax in 2014.

“How can the Irish government possibly stand over its claim that no favourable treatment was granted to Apple when it was paying just 50 euro in tax per million euro?

“This government and its predecessors have been crippling local small businesses and households with taxes and charges, and today they’re on the record as saying they will spend taxpayers’ money to try to avoid recouping billions owed to it by one of the richest multinationals in the world.”

Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Panama Papers Inquiry Committee, continued: “The Commission’s ruling shows that Revenue endorsed a scheme in its tax rulings in which Apple was allowed to artificially internally allocate the profits of two of its subsidiaries in a way that had ‘no factual or economic justification’ and which violated the arms-length principle. Apple allocated most of its profits to an imaginary ‘head office’ that didn’t exist anywhere, meaning it paid no tax on these profits anywhere.

“The government can claim that this is not Ireland’s problem but it’s plain for all to see that Revenue actively assisted Apple in avoiding paying tax anywhere.

“Apple’s method of routing all of its European sales through its Irish subsidiaries was beyond the scope of this state aid investigation – but if Apple wants to book all of its sales for Europe through the Irish state then it needs to pay corporate tax here, it’s as simple as that.

“The sweetheart deals between Apple and successive Irish governments have caused massive damage to our reputation internationally. Appealing the ruling will only worsen this damage. The decision on whether or not to appeal the ruling must be put to a vote in the Dáil.

“Sinn Féin is demanding a public inquiry into the circumstances in which these tax rulings were issued in order to establish who is responsible.

“The ruling also raises the question: How many other multinationals have been provided with special tax treatment by the government? Let’s see the detail of the tax rulings that have been issued by Revenue to these companies. We urgently need to bring transparency and accountability to the system of secret sweetheart deals for multinational giants.

“The facts are clear – there is absolutely no justification for challenging this ruling and the government must immediately rule out an appeal.

“The Irish people are owed €13 billion and the Irish government needs to act now to get it back.” 

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