Latest: Noonan not surprised by commissioner's comment on Apple tax ruling

Update 11.55am: Finance Minister Michael Noonan has insisted that appealing against the Apple tax ruling that grants €13bn tax payment to Ireland is the right thing to do.

Earlier today, European commissioner Pierre Muscovici said he was "surprised" Ireland was turning down the money, which could be used for social programmes.

Minister Noonan said he is not surprised by the commissioner's comments.

“I wouldn’t agree with him, and, you know, he’s a commissioner – obviously the Commission will defend their ruling, and we’ll appeal it,” he said.

Earlier:

The EU's economics commissioner has said he is surprised Ireland is appealing the Apple tax ruling.

Pierre Muscovici says it is a "strange decision" that a country which has suffered like Ireland has would turn down a €13bn payment.

He was speaking as Eurozone finance ministers gathered in Slovakia to discuss new proposals to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance.

Commissioner Muscovici said Ireland could have put the money to good use.

"The Irish Government has decided it will go in front of the courts. We are of course respecting that, although it's a strange decision in a way to say 'I don’t want your €13bn' when you could have some social programmes or economic programmes in a country that has been damaged by the crisis.

"But that's the (Irish Government's) own will."

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