Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday that Ireland cannot use the more than 14 billion euros (US$15.1 billion) in disputed taxes it has collected from Apple pending a European court appeal for economic stimulus in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In September 2018, Ireland collected €14.3 billion in disputed back taxes and interest from Apple. It was placed in an escrow account pending Dublin’s appeal against the ruling which is ongoing.
The leader of the opposition Sinn Fein party, Mary Lou McDonald, suggested on Sunday that the state could reach “right this minute” into the escrow account where the funds are being held to pay for further income supports for workers.
“Mary Lou McDonald should know better, the Apple money is in an escrow account and that is where it is being held until the European Commission decides where that money is going to go,” Varadkar told reporters.
“The European courts will decide whether that money either belongs to Apple or comes to the Irish revenue commissioners and then has to be distributed out among the counties of Europe. It’s not ours to take and it’s now before the courts.
“She should know better before coming out with that kind of rubbish.”
MacDailyNews Take: Varadkar makes perfect sense since those so-called “Apple taxes” are not Ireland’s money. That’s Apple’s money.