Several hundred people have signed a People Before Profit petition calling on the Government to use the €13 billion owed by Apple in back taxes to build more social housing.
People Before Profit held a street meeting outside the GPO in Dublin on Wednesday to call on the Government to take the money following an EU ruling.
On Tuesday, the European Commission ruled that Ireland was owed at least €13 billion in taxes from Apple.
The European Commission said subsequently that the Government would not be obligated to use the €13 billion to pay down its national debt, following claims to the contrary by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
Mr Noonan had said budgetary rules meant the Government would have to use the money to pay off the State’s national debt, estimated at €204 billion.
However, European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said that this would not be the case.
“The amounts that are recovered by a member state in a stated investigation simply go back to the member state’s budget and it can then, of course, use it according to its own decisions,” Mr Cardoso said.
People Before Profit spokesman Kieran Allen said hundreds of people had signed their petition calling on the Government to use the money from Apple to build more social housing.
“Apple has been found to owe the Government €13 billion in tax and the Government is trying to rush it through so they can make an appeal.
“If they make an appeal, the money will be locked away for years, whereas we estimate that money could be used to build 86,000 social houses,” said Mr Allen.
“It is the equivalent of our education budget, as the money is probably worth around €20 billion with interest, so you could solve or transform the country with that money,” he said.
“The Government is so committed to a model of Irish society built on tax havens that it’s only concern is its reputation amongst tax dodgers and big corporations that can dodge tax here.
“It doesn’t seem to worry about its reputation for how many people are homeless or the state of its hospitals.
“We have had a great reaction from people on O’Connell Street from all over the country and have received hundreds of signatures on the petition,” he said.