Once again, it has been revealed that Ireland is a tax haven for multinational corporations. The use of creative accounting, and scams like the ‘Double Irish’ have seen Apple Sales International pay a pittance in corporation tax for at least a decade. While they laugh all the way to the bank, it is the Irish public who lose out.
The difference between what they paid and what they should have paid is €850 million. What could this have paid for? What austerity taxes could have been avoided if these companies paid their tax? What public services would not have been cut? It could have plugged the gap in health care spending instead we have a crisis of people on trolleys in A+E departments. It could have paid for more teachers; instead we have increasing class sizes. It more than covers the property tax which people struggled to pay, and got loans to pay last year and this.
This reignites questions, which Taoiseach Kenny sidestepped last year, about the tax arrangements which have been reached with Apple. At the time, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that they received a ‘tax incentive’ while Kenny said that there were no ‘special deals’. Someone is obviously lying! It’s time for the Taoiseach to come clean and publish these deals. There were also questions about the role played by Apple in the 1980s in the creation of the ‘Double Irish’ these must be made public now.