Opposition accuse government of contradicting itself on Apple tax ruling

Opposition parties have accused the Government of contradicting itself by defending Apple’s “indefensible” tax bill while admitting a review of other multi-nationals’ tax levels, and the introduction of a transparent tax system, is needed.

Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, and the Green Party made the claims in response to the Fine Gael-led coalition’s decision to appeal the European Commission’s €13bn Apple ruling.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald insisted the cabinet deal was “the wrong decision” for the public and shows the “clear contempt” of those in power for “tax compliant Irish citizens”.

Ms McDonald said she was shocked to see Fianna Fáil and Labour “stick their chest out to the European Union” when they were “docile” during the bailout era.

Calling for the full ruling to be published before any Dáil debate takes place, she said her party will organise a protest outside Leinster House for next Wednesday due to public anger.

Asked if the Cabinet deal to appeal the decision is contradictory in light of proposals to examine and change the current tax system, she added: “Yes of course. Their position is confused. The fact the practices Apple engaged in are no longer current concedes the point.”

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall said despite the Government’s decision, Ireland “cannot defend the indefensible” and reiterated the party’s view the appeal should not take place.

Greens leader Eamon Ryan said the appeal was “contradictory” and “inconsistent with fighting for global tax justice”.

  • But Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath said his party was backing the appeal as “Ireland needs to aggressively defend its position and reject any attempt by the commission to take control of the country’s tax policy by the back door”.
  • A graphic in yesterday’s edition incorrectly said Fianna Fáil was “on the fence”. It supports appealing the decision.

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