Apple, Ireland, the EU and tax

Sir, – The Government plays a dangerous and not very patriotic game when it challenges EU findings that Apple was afforded special tax avoidance privilege in Ireland for a many years.

Facilitating 0.005 per cent tax payable on multiple billions of profit cannot be easily denied or explained. Some might consider it nothing short of treachery for a Government to side with those who would concentrate wealth and power into a sort of corporate feudalism, rather than with its own citizenry who fear they are are being betrayed into a serfdom of unemployed dependency, inadequate services and festering despair.

For when the charade of multiple schemes and ruses to hide the impact of modern automation on employment is swept away, a sorry deficiency emerges of any policy whatsoever to prepare for the sort of work elimination automated robotics is bringing down the line.

Many would think €16 billion or €19 billion could do an enormous amount to alleviate grossly overstretched health service and other social inadequacies. It takes an enormous amount of arrogant stupidity to argue such a sum must be rejected for the people’s own good.


Regardless of the outcome, multinationals will service their own good first; if it suits them they will stay; if economic factors dictate otherwise, they will go. There is no sentiment in corporate economics.

It is extremely dangerous and naive to argue that even if tax avoidance has to be acknowledged, the tax in question is not payable in Ireland or even Europe but wherever the intellectual property resides. If such a case is conceded, a solid argument could be made that much of the tax genuinely payable by multinationals located in Ireland should not be paid here either but where that intellectual property is held.

Much of the technological export of this country is not generated here but rerouted from low-cost production locations through this tax system to take full advantage of the 12.5 per cent rate, which is still one of the lowest in the world. – Yours, etc,


Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.