Any attack on 12.5% rate will be fought 'at home, abroad and in the courts': Michael Noonan

Michael Noonan talking to the media outside Government Buildings today. Picture:

‘Bizarre and outrageous’ - that's Michael Noonan's response to the European Commission's Apple tax ruling after the Cabinet agreed it should be appealed.

The Dáil will be recalled on Wednesday for a debate and vote on the issue, while the minority government has also promised a review of the tax paid by multinationals.

Michael Noonan said that review would exclude our 12.5% corporation tax rate which he says is under attack and which he said he’ll fight for "at home and abroad and in the courts".

He added the Commission's actions were just wrong, saying: “Do you think it would be fair that if you did something in 2003, which wasn’t a crime, and it was made a crime in 2012 - do you think it would be fair that you should be arrested for it now and penalised?

“That’s the position. We’re going to fight it on the grounds of the arms-length rule and the retroactive application of it.”

Read: The 5 steps to Cabinet's appeal of Apple tax ruling

Of the Government's decision to appeal the ruling, the Minister said in a statement: "The Government has decided unanimously to bring an appeal before the European Courts to challenge the European Commission’s decision on the Apple State aid case.

"I believe that there are some very important principles at stake in this case and that a robust legal challenge before the Courts is essential to defend Ireland’s interests.

"The full amount of tax was paid in this case and no State aid was provided. Ireland did not give favourable tax treatment to Apple. Ireland does not do deals with taxpayers."

Of the upcoming tax review, which will exclude an examination of the 12.5% Corporation Tax, Minister Noonan said: "It is good practice to undertake periodic reviews of key areas of Government policy.

"The last review of corporation tax policy took place in 2014. Since then a wide range of new international developments have emerged in international taxation, such as the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project (BEPS).

"We need to ensure that Ireland’s corporation tax code meets these new standards while remaining competitive as the economy continues to grow."

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