‘Upsetting the Applecart’
This was the wonderful headline in the Irish Times Editorial on Wednesday the 31st August 2016 but unfortunately the editorial went on to state ‘… the damning verdict by the commission on how tax was applied in the Apple case leaves the Government with little option but to lodge an appeal……’
Further as I write the Cabinet are meeting today and it looks like the Independent Alliance TDs will now agree with their FG colleagues, albeit with conditions and a recall of the Dáil next week, to further discuss the decision but only after the decision to appeal has been made!
Further mainstream media are more concerned at lecturing the Independents and left wing parties that governing involves making unpopular decisions and that we must have grown up politics.
Does this sound familiar?
Once again different voices or voices of dissent are just ‘being difficult’ ‘grabbing cheap headlines’ ‘being opportunistic’ ‘not donning the green jersey’ etc.
So once again in order to confirm that ‘The Emperor is wearing clothes’ mainstream forces in Ireland and America albeit for different reasons are joining forces to appeal an EU Decision Commission giving Ireland 13 Billion plus interest in back tax.
At the same time we have a housing emergency with for example 15,000 people at a conservative estimate on the housing waiting list in Galway with the list going back to 2002. Moreover we have scandalously long waiting lists for every medical speciality and thousands of premature deaths annually specifically due to poverty to mention only some of the problems facing us as a society and yet we are appealing a decision to give us 13 billion plus interest!
Where do I stand on this issue?
I have given it careful consideration and read as much as I could digest on the subject and particularly the arguments for and against an appeal.
In my opinion it is an obscenity to appeal such a decision and use scarce public funds to do so in relation to a company that has used ‘A Head Office’ with no employees, no premises and no country for tax purposes as a vehicle to avoid paying tax on multi-billion dollar profits generated worldwide.
For our government to collude with such a policy clearly exposes what our government and previous governments are about while at the same time the government has given and continues to give Revenue enormous powers to pursue citizens who fail to pay their taxes including the most unjust property tax.
Moreover on a practical level the government has acknowledged that the two tax rulings that enabled Apple to pay as little tax as it did in Ireland have now been closed off – that was the law/tax-ruling at the time which has now changed and the Government and Ireland has moved on – so what has the Government to appeal about.
Further as Apple is the liable party to pay the money owing on foot of the EU Commission Judgement it is of course entirely open to them to appeal.
Finally the Government’s rhetoric of new politics has been utterly laid bare. In this regard the Government announced its intention to appeal without any recourse to the Dáil for a full and frank debate. To add insult to injury it now seems that the Dáil will be recalled next week but only to allow debate after the decision has been made.
If the decision to refuse/ accept an award of 13 Billion does not deserve an open debate in our national parliament then ‘Go bhFóire Dia Orainn’!