Letter to the Editor: €13bn would help pay off our Covid-19 debt

Letter to the Editor: €13bn would help pay off our Covid-19 debt

Europe's second-highest court has said that Apple does not owe Ireland €13bn in back tax.  Picture: PA

Hip hip, hooray.  Ireland has secured a reverse lottery win. Europe's second-highest court has said that Apple does not owe Ireland €13bn in back tax. 

That overrules a European Commission decision of four years ago. We can all gather around and celebrate, with social distancing, of course. 

"Ireland has always been clear that there was no special treatment provided to the two Apple companies — ASI and AOE. The correct amount of Irish tax was charged... in line with normal Irish taxation rules," the Department of Finance said.

Not that we need the money.  

We have only racked up a Covid-19 debt of €20bn for the pandemic payment and the wage-subsidy scheme. Yet, we're happy to forgo a mouth-watering lump sum, knowing that in doing so we will attract other global conglomerates and multi-nationals keen to avail of our generous corporation tax. 

Bring them on.  What's wrong with fiscal compromise, when the rewards are so big? 

In the idyllic Garden of Eden,  taking a bite out of an 'Apple' was the grim harbinger of a fall from grace, ushering in an 'eternity' of struggle and strife for humanity. Temptation won out, but the gain was momentary.

The upshot in the long-term was suffering. The tech giants, the pharmaceutical companies, and the vulture funds will pick over the carcass of Ireland post-Covid-19. 

We have won, but only for now, because yesterday's ruling may yet be appealed before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Let's await the European Commission's next move. This may be a Pyrrhic victory.

Jim Cosgrove 

Chapel Street 

Lismore 

Co Waterford

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