Joseph Stiglitz: Govt should use €13bn for enormous hardship Irish people faced

Former chief economist at the World Bank and current professor at Columbia University, Joseph Stiglitz, has said that Ireland should take the tax money from Apple and use it to tackle hardship following the ruling that they must recoup €13bn in taxes, writes Robert McNamara.

Appearing on the Sean O'Rourke show on Radio 1, Mr Stiglitz described the Irish Government's stance that they had done nothing wrong as "utter balderdash".

Minister Richard Bruton had appeared on a previous segment of the show and echoed Finance Minister Michael Noonan's view that Ireland was clear of wrongdoing.

When asked if he thought the Irish Government was right to appeal the ruling, Mr Stiglitz, who served under the Clinton administration as the chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, said: "No I think they are wrong....to put it frankly what the Minister was saying was utter balderdash. The fact is that you were encouraging tax avoidance, you knew it, let's not make any pretence about it.

"You got a few jobs at the cost of stealing revenues away from countries around the world and that's the kind of activity that has to be stopped."

Mr Stiglitz said that Irish law is superseded by EU law and Apple must pay taxes to the country in which their income is attributed.

"If a company says it got revenue associated with Ireland, you have to pay a tax on it. Whether that income is correctly attributed to Ireland is another matter. If Apple is saying this is Irish income you have an obligation to impose taxes on income that they say originated in Ireland.

"What I find absolutely mystifying is why you don't pocket that €13bn and use it for the enormous hardship that people in Ireland have had to face."

Mr Stiglitz called the argument that Ireland will lose a number of jobs "absolute nonsense".

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