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Apple and Irish government under fire for appeal against Commission tax ruling

GUE/NGL’s Matt Carthy MEP has reacted strongly to Apple and the Irish government’s decision to appeal against a European Commission ruling on illegal state aid which included a record 13 billion euro fine on the tech giant.

The Commission’s 130-page ruling into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland was released today, having previously accused both Apple and Dublin for being complicit in favourable tax arrangements which contravene EU laws.

Irish MEP Carthy – a member on the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) – said:

“The Irish government’s arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny. The Department of Finance chooses to ignore the economic reality that the structures put in place by Apple and sanctioned by Revenue [government agency responsible for customs and tax] facilitated industrial-scale tax avoidance.”

“The crux of the matter is that there was selective advantage conferred on Apple by Revenue’s sweetheart deals, and nothing in the government’s appeal summary comes close to challenging this finding. The chances of the government winning this appeal are slim to nil but it will cost taxpayers millions of euros and further damage Ireland’s international reputation on tax justice,” he reasoned.

“The motivation in opposing the ruling is intended to send a comfort message to tax-avoiding multinationals that the Irish government will have their backs.”

“Just last week, Oxfam labelled the Irish state as the sixth worst corporate tax haven in the world. In siding with one of the wealthiest corporations in the world in appealing this ruling, the Irish government is sending a signal that it thinks massive and unfair tax avoidance by multinationals is legitimate,” said Carthy.