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TD warns that Apple tax probe could result in job losses

Michael McGrath has said that the government must use “every means at its disposal” to defend Ireland’s corporate tax rules.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE GOVERNMENT MUST “robustly” defend its corporate tax agreement with Apple, according to Michael McGrath.

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson said that the formal investigation into the issue that was announced by the European Commission today could “be very damaging to the Irish economy and ultimately cost jobs”.

The Commission said it was launching the inquiry due to concerns that Ireland may have applied tax law to Apple in a way that allows it to reduce its payment “below the level it should pay based on a correct application of the tax rules”, thereby affording it a “selective advantage”.

McGrath said that if the investigation results in an adverse finding it could have “wider implications for multinationals in Ireland and ultimately cost jobs”.

It has been clear for some time that many other European countries have viewed Ireland’s success at attracting multinationals with considerable envy. Our competitors will hope that today’s announcement is the start of the unravelling of our ability to secure multinational investment.

The TD noted that Apple employs more than 4,000 people at its European base in Cork and said it is ”absolutely vital that the government uses every means at its disposal to protect our economic interests”.

In a statement issued this morning, the Department of Finance said it is confident it hasn’t broken EU rules, stating: “We will defend all aspects vigorously.”

Significant reputational damage

McGrath said that the “disparaging references to Ireland’s corporation tax regime during committee hearings at the US Senate and the House of Commons have caused significant reputational damage to our tax system”.

He noted that the government has to date not treated the issue with the “seriousness it deserves”.

The deputy said the subject was best dealt with on an international basis, stating that Ireland should engage with the OECD as it examines the issue.

“The bottom line is that we need to have certainty about our corporation tax system in order to secure the multinational jobs currently in Ireland and to continue to attract inward investment into the country,” McGrath added.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Enda Kenny said he was committed to cooperating with the OECD.

Related: Brussels launches probe into Ireland’s Apple tax deal

Read: “You’ve some neck” – Martin calls for Kenny to admit he ‘fired’ Callinan

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Órla Ryan

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