Irish cabinet may be given more time to decide on Apple tax appeal

“Ireland’s cabinet may be given more time to decide on whether to back the finance minister’s recommendation that Dublin appeal the European Commission’s ruling against its tax dealings with Apple, another minister said on Wednesday,” Padraic Halpin reports for Reuters. “Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Tuesday he ‘disagreed profoundly’ with the Commission’s order that Apple should hand over to Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ruled to be illegal state aid. He will seek approval for an appeal from cabinet at 1030 GMT.”

“The minority government led by Noonan’s Fine Gael is reliant on the support of a number of independent lawmakers, a group of whom, the Independent Alliance, said on Tuesday that they were reviewing the decision and would need to further consult with Noonan, tax officials and independent experts,” Halpin reports. “If the Independent Alliance refused to back an appeal and pulled out of government, Fine Gael would no longer have sufficient support in parliament to pass legislation and the government could collapse.”

“Fine Gael is also reliant on an agreement with its biggest rival, Fianna Fail, to abstain on key votes to facilitate the minority government. Fianna Fail said on Tuesday it would back an appeal through the European Courts,” Halpin reports. “Both parties were criticized by left-wing Sinn Fein, the country’s third largest party. It said the government should accept the Commission’s ruling and impose the tax bill on the iPhone maker, which says it will also appeal.”

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 $14.5 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 feckless Brussels 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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