“Ireland’s cabinet could not agree on Wednesday whether to fight a European Commission ruling against Dublin’s tax dealings with Apple, raising questions over any appeal and the government’s stability,” Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries report for Reuters.
“Finance Minister Michael Noonan has insisted Dublin would appeal any adverse ruling ever since the EU investigation began in 2014. But after over five hours of discussion, the cabinet adjourned until Friday when the government said a decision would be made,” Halpin and Humphries report. “Dublin has just over two months at the latest to make an appeal against the Commission’s ruling that the U.S. tech giant should hand over to Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) ruled to be illegal state aid.”
“Apple, one of many major multinationals whose European headquarters are based in Ireland, has said it will appeal the decision and a failure by the Irish government to join them could undermine the country’s pro-business credentials. Noonan said on Tuesday he ‘disagreed profoundly'” with what he called a bizarre order from the Commission,” Halpin and Humphries report. “At stake for Ireland is the lure of its low corporate tax rate, a cornerstone of economic policy for decades that has drawn investors from large multinational companies whose staff account for almost one in 10 of the country’s workers.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s a no-brainer for Ireland to join Apple in the appeal.
By policy recommendation, any clawbacks should go directly to pay off Ireland’s debt. Apple’s €13 billion would be a drop in the ocean of roughly €200 billion debt. The idea of pissing off one of your best and growing employers while conceding to be led around by the nose by a feckless Brussels kleptocracy in exchange for a meaningless drop in the ocean isn’t smart, it’s stupid.
Apple is Ireland’s 34th largest employer. How much tax revenue (income and health (USC), capital gains, sales, property, vehicle registration, plastic bag, etc., etc., etc.) and economic activity (sales of gas, housing, utilities, investment, food, BEER, etc.) do Apple’s upwards of 6,000 employees generate for Ireland annually?
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