Irish cabinet meeting about Apple tax ruling to resume



The Irish Cabinet is met on Wednesday to discuss the issue Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The Irish Cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss the issue

The Republic of Ireland’s cabinet are to resume discussions on the European Commission’s decision that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13bn (£11bn) to Apple.

It is expected to decide whether or not to appeal against the decision.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has previously said the Irish government will challenge the ruling.

Independent ministers have sought the recall of the Irish parliament if they are to back an appeal.

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Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported that independent ministers also sought a strong statement on tax policy if an appeal was to have their support.

The cabinet first met on Wednesday but decided to adjourn until Friday for “further time to reflect on the issues and to clarify a number of legal and technical issues”.

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Image caption Apple intends to appeal the European Commission’s ruling demanding it pays €13bn in taxes to Ireland

The Irish government has said it “disagrees profoundly with the commission’s analysis”.

Analysis: Shane Harrison, Dublin correspondent

This is a minority Fine Gael government that includes independents.

It is dependent on the support of the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil.

Fianna Fáil has indicated that it wants to see an appeal of the commission’s ruling, if only to see who is right – Brussels, or Dublin – on whether or not the Irish government had a secret deal with Apple.

Also at stake is the credibility of the independent tax authority in the Republic, the Revenue Commissioners.

For the government to turn down 13bn euros, equivalent to the country’s annual health budget, is a huge political ask.

The government’s view is that it is in Ireland’s long-term interest not to be seen as a tax haven, but to be seen as transparent regarding its taxation.

Some people are of the opinion that unless an agreement can be reached today the future of the government could be at stake.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the European Commission’s decision was “maddening” and “political”.

He added that he was “very confident” the ruling would be overturned on appeal.

However, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager rejected Mr Cook’s claims.

“The is a decision based on the facts of the case, looking into Apple Sales International, how they are arranged within Ireland, and the profits recorded there,” she said.


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