Calls for government to drop appeal to European Commission
Calls for a investigation into all other multi-nationals that may have avoided paying the full rate of corporate tax in Ireland
Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit will today submit an Amendment to the Government’s Apple motion.
The amendment condemns the government’s decision to appeal the European Commission Apple ruling and lists a number of other demands such as the development of a plan to invest the back taxes owed by Apple into health, housing and education and also be used for major public investment in green energy and technology sectors, creating tens of thousands of jobs.
It calls for the government to waive confidentiality and publish the European Commission’s ruling and notes that the so-called “double-Irish” has not been abolished, is only being phased out and is still there for still available for multi-nationals, including Apple to use to avoid paying billions in corporate tax.
The amendment also calls for an immediate investigation into the tax affairs of all other companies that may have avoided paying the full corporate tax rate using the same or similar mechanisms which Apple used and the recovery of all such unpaid tax.
AAA-PBP TD Richard Boyd Barrett said “The purpose of our amendment is to try to get the government to drop their appeal against Apple paying back these billions in unpaid corporation tax. The €13 billion or so that could be collected would do amazing things for the people of this country. We have suggested in our amendment that the money should be collected and used to help end the housing crisis, fix the health system which is crumbling and invest in our education system. We also suggest that this money could be used to create tens of thousands of real jobs in the green energy and technology sectors for example.
“We do not accept all the efforts of the government and Fianna Fail to explain all this away with nonsense about the integrity of our tax system.
“The government and the tax authorities allowed Apple to set up paper companies here, which they must have known were liable for tax nowhere in the world and then shift a huge proportion of their profits to these companies on the grounds they were royalty payments. The tax rulings provided by Revenue essentially allowed Apple to hide their own tax bill each year.”
“The government and Revenue provided the window for Apple and almost certainly a select number of other multi-national companies jumped through that window taking tens of billions in the tax free profits with them.”
Paul Murphy TD for Dublin South West said said “We will witness a perfect example of so called ‘Post-Truth’ Politics. Facts and evidence will be ignored and excluded from the political debate on corporate taxation, and instead the majority of elected TDs will vote to say that major companies pay 12.5% tax. The Dail voting to say that black is white, and white is black won’t change the reality that Ireland is a tax haven.
“The government’s motion argues that 12.5% is the rate and no other special arrangements exist. This comes despite the fact that the EU Commission has found that a special arrangement did exist, that Apple’s head of taxation admitted to the U.S senate in 2013 that a deal existed.
“The dodgy deals stretch beyond Apple. The evidence points to Starbucks paying €50 tax in 2014. ‘Double Irish’ is still in operation until 2020 and has seen Google funnel €28.7 billion through it in a three year period to avoid tax. There should be an inquiry into the tax arrangements of companies to see whether they were offered tax deals by the Revenue similar to Apple and all the loopholes should be closed immediately.”
Mick Barry TD said “The government have run through a number of excuses to justify appealing the ruling alongside Apple in the eyes of the public. Their latest reasoning is that the money is owed to other countries rather than Ireland – yet, with this appeal they are not saying that other countries should get the money they are saying that Apple should keep the money. They are siding with Apple not just against workers in Ireland but across the world. But today they will vote for a motion committed to international tax justice.
“The motion in the Dáil today will pass by a large majority. Fianna Fail, Independents and Labour will vote alongside the government in what they are calling the ‘national interest’. Working class people across the country will be asking themselves the question whether their interests are not part of the ‘national interest’ when it sees the majority of the politicians in the Dail side with a multinational to keep €19 billion at a time of huge social crisis.”
Bríd Smith TD said “It is quite clear that Ireland is a tax haven. Apple has used this country to avoid paying out billions in corporate tax which could be used for the benefit of our society. Instead, of fighting for the people of this country, the government have once again decided to bat for the richest in our society- the multi-nationals. These companies should contribute to this country as everyone else does. They should be forced to pay their taxes. It is quite disgraceful that we should refuse this money while we have a housing crisis that has reached an emergency status with the news of over 2,000 homeless children in this state. We are saying take the money and use it to end the housing crisis.”
Gino Kenny TD said “We think that the revelations provided by the European Commission demonstrate that there is a desperate need for a full investigation into the tax affairs of all the other multi-nationals in this country who may have benefited for sweetheart deals like Apple. I would suggest that the Apple case is merely the tip of the iceberg”.