Sunday

23rd Jul 2017

Irish government in disarray on Apple tax affair

  • Finance minister Michael Noonan wants to appeal the EU decision. (Photo: Council of the EU)

Ireland’s coalition government failed to agree on Thursday (1 September) on how to handle the European Commission’s €13-billion Apple tax ruling.

Liberal-conservative Fine Gael, the major coalition partner, is determined to contest the EU’s finding that tax arrangements between Dublin and the American tech giant amounted to illegal state aid.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Prime minister Enda Kenny and finance minister Michael Noonan want to file an appeal in the EU court in Luxembourg, and say that speedy action is needed to protect Ireland’s reputation in the wake of the EU decision.

But the government’s independent ministers have been reluctant to back the appeal.

Fine Gael insists that such a decision should be taken at the cabinet meeting on Friday (2 September) morning.

In coalition talks which have been ongoing since the commission’s decision on Wednesday, Fine Gael conceded to some independent wishes.

It agreed to recall Ireland’s lower house of parliament for a debate on the issue.

MPs will, however, convene after, rather than prior to Friday's cabinet meeting, and would not be able to reverse a legal appeal.

Independent ministers have also requested a wider examination of how Ireland’s corporate tax rules are used by multinationals and strong commitments to achieving meaningful tax justice, in return for their support.

Irish media say the cracks in the coalition may amount to a deadlock.

Ireland has just recovered from six years of austerity following a financial crisis in 2010, under which tax payers bore the brunt of an €85 million bailout.

Meanwhile, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook and EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager engaged in a war of words on Thursday.

Cook said the commission’s decision was ”total political crap”, ”maddening” and lacking basis ”in fact and law”.

The Danish EU official said that her findings were based ”on the facts of the case”.

Apple faces massive Irish tax bill

The EU executive will announce how much the tech giant must pay back to Ireland, two years after it ruled that tax decisions in Dublin amounted to illegal state aid.

Irish government in moral dilemma on Apple tax

Anti-poverty activists in Ireland say the government's decision to appeal an EU commission order for Apple to pay back €13 billion undermines its moral authority.

Opinion

Greece needs a new plan

Two years into its third bailout, Greece needs to combine the necessary fiscal targets with a new vision. This can be done in the context of the ongoing industrial revolution.

Opinion

Ceta and pesticides: A citizens' rights issue

The trade agreement with Canada will begin to apply on 21 September. But there is still a potential conflict on the right to data protection vs. the right to access information.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary