What could Ireland buy with Perrigo’s €1.64bn tax bill?

Money would cover the full cost of the National Children’s Hospital

A Gulfstream  G650, the biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy. The Perrigo tax bill would fund 28 of them.

A Gulfstream G650, the biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy. The Perrigo tax bill would fund 28 of them.

 

The Revenue Commissioners have issued a tax demand of almost €1.64 billion on pharmaceutical giant Perrigo. The charge relates to profits made when Elan – which Perrigo subsequently acquired – sold the rights to its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri for $3.25 billion plus a share of future royalties.

The Revenue demand is likely to set off a lengthy legal battle. Judging by our sums however, such a battle is worthwhile given what the money could be spent on. So what could you buy with €1.64 billion?

1) It would cover the full cost of the National Children’s Hospital in Dublin, which was recently estimated at €1.43 billion, and have a bit of spare change in case the rapidly escalating bill rises further.

2) You could alternatively just give every man, woman and child in the State a Christmas bonus of €342.

3) With Brexit looming, and if ESRI calculations are correct, that €1.64 billion would shield the Irish economy from the worst excesses of a no-deal rupture for about four months.

4) Alternatively, according to figures from CBRE, you could have snapped up all the development land that changed hands in the Republic this year – almost €1.5 billion in 125 separate deals – and that is double the figure from last year.

5) It would fall just short of buying an iPhone X for every adult in the Greater Dublin Area (although, sadly, only the most basic version).

6) More than 128,000 students from outside Dublin could attend college in the capital for a year with the money, based on DIT’s estimated costs of about €12,495 per student, per annum. That includes rent, tuition fees and so on.

7) In a somewhat nightmarish scenario, a fleet of 266,000 industrial-level drones could be purchased and used to challenge every airport operator on the planet.

8) We could buy more than 55,000 of the State’s best-selling car, the Hyundai Tucscon, That would increase total new car sales here by nearly 50 per cent.

9) If it’s something smarter you’re after, you could also give 28 lucky citizens their own Gulfstream G650, the biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy.

10) At an estimated $15 million per episode, the money could pay for an extra-long season of Game of Thrones.

11) The State could purchase several islands in South China Sea – such as 110-acre privately-owned Rangyai, just off tourism hotspot Phuket, which is asking $160 million – thereby making the State a player in the superpower race in the Pacific.

12) Certainly the most boring but sensible option would be to use it to wipe off less than 1 per cent off the national debt which currently stands at just over €200 billion. Or you could just buy everybody in the Republic 394 bags of Tayto.