Katherine Zappone to push for ‘tax justice’ proposals after meeting Attorney General

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will today demand that proposals around “tax justice” are accepted if she is to agree to appeal the European Commission judgment on Apple.

She held a day of briefings with the Attorney General and independent tax experts yesterday.

Ms Zappone held a two-hour meeting with the Attorney General yesterday morning to tease out a number of issues which she had concerns around.

She met with the Attorney General again for an hour later in the day as she sought more clarity on the ruling.

Senior government officials also attended these meetings.

Ms Zappone spent much of the day meeting with independent tax experts. These experts included academics, economists, and campaigners in the area of “tax justice”, which is a fair and transparent tax system where there are no special deals made.

This is an area which Ms Zappone has been strong on in the past. Those meetings went on into late last night.

In her former position as a senator, Ms Zappone spoke out strongly in favour of a progressive and transparent taxation system.

She will present a government memo to Cabinet on tax justice and will be insisting this is accepted before she agrees to any appeal on the Apple ruling.

Katherine Zappone to push for ‘tax justice’ proposals after meeting Attorney General

After Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, during which little progress was made in forming a unified position on the ruling, Ms Zappone reiterated her long-held view on tax justice.

Ms Zappone said: “I believe that we should have a fair taxation system in Ireland and that everyone should pay their fair share.”

Ms Zappone added that she “very much believes” that the Dáil should be included in the issue.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Richard Bruton yesterday denied there is any “rift” within Cabinet over the ruling.

He rejected widespread reports both sides of the Coalition are polarised on the issue.

Speaking just 24 hours after a lengthy four-hour emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday failed to resolve the stand-off — leading to a second emergency meeting being called for today — the Fine Gael minister denied any split, instead describing the discussions as “very useful”.

Mr Bruton said that he expects the Government to agree a united position on the issue at today’s meeting, adding the protracted talks are “a perfectly valid way to proceed”.

“I don’t think there is any rift, I think what the situation is is that every minister wants to study the full [European Commission] judgment,” he said.

“We had a very useful discussion yesterday, I think that was very positive on all sides, and we agreed to resume those discussions on Friday having given everyone the time to study in greater detail the judgment.

“That’s the right way to go, I think that’s a perfectly valid way to proceed.”

Asked what is likely to happen at the second emergency Cabinet meeting in 72 hours over the Apple tax crisis, Mr Bruton said he is “very optimistic agreement will be reached”.

Mr Bruton dismissed the European Commission’s ruling that Apple owes Ireland at least €13bn as “just a case that’s being made” and stressed that it has not been agreed “in a final legal way”.

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