Apple, multinationals and taxation


Sir, – Companies that operate internationally should be regulated internationally. A small country should co-operate with its partners to counter the power of large international corporations.

Those partners could reasonably question the commitment of a member that prefers to side with such a corporation, particularly when that member entices international companies to its own shores with its tax regime, while offering access to the entire partnership’s market (an example of “privatised gains and socialised losses”).

Ireland has already suffered from making the losses of Irish banks, operating internationally, sovereign debts of Ireland. Those losses should have been resolved supranationally. – Yours, etc,


Tralee. Co Kerry.

Sir, – The European Commission’s calculation of Apple’s 0.005 per cent tax rate has helped raise the broader question of whether such a rate is ethical, as distinct from legal.

The traditional connection between ethical philosophy and government rule has been lost to a managerial understanding of politics.

This understanding prioritises trying to satisfy the demands of various competing interest groups through tax laws and other decisions.

One good outcome of the Apple case would to recover and debate the ethical ideas that should inform political rule. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Am I alone in finding it interesting that those who were considered most subservient to our European partners during the bailout and banking crisis are now wishing to tell the EU to “take a hike”, whereas those who wished the EU would “get lost” then are now cheerleaders for decisions made by the European Commission?

It’s a funny old world indeed! – Yours, etc,


Dublin 9.

Sir, – The European Commission’s ruling should have sparked a full and frank debate about tax justice, our corporate tax policy, special tax deals with foreign multinationals and how conducive all of this is to the public good.

This should have included the question of whether the €13 billion would offset any potential loss of investment from the implementation of the ruling.

Instead we get vacuous nationalist rhetoric from the Government. – Yours, etc,