The Independent MEP for Dublin, has criticised the Government’s response to the European Commission’s ruling on its tax deals with Apple. Ms. Childers made her remarks today from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where the matter will be discussed with the Commission later in the week:
“I find myself astonished by the difference in tone and assertiveness which our Government has now shown towards the EU Commission, when compared to their teacher’s pet docility in over the prescriptions from the Troika, following the banking sector’s collapse.
“The contrast in their stance is stark, but the losing side remains the same, with common citizens and taxpayers left to foot the bill for the damage done when big business acts above the law.
“The irony of this lays bare the myth of Fine Gael’s preoccupation with repairing the country’s reputation abroad.
“One moment, it’s in our national interest to throw good taxpayer’s money after bad to save a recklessly insolvent banking system, and not kicking up a fuss as the promise of Eurozone assistance for retrospective recapitalisation failed to materialise.
“The next thing, they decide to throw Charlie Haughey’s tax dodging toys out of the pram, without a moment’s pause.
“This shows the sole intended audience for their reputation talk are rootless corporate players.
“Irish businesses without the global scale and budgets for the big consultancies’ so-called tax planning schemes are simply not big enough to reach for the top shelf where sweetheart deals are in store.
“Common citizens who depend on essential, tax-funded public services also appear to be beneath the circles where the latest ‘national interest ‘trends are fashioned.
“We need more focus on attracting foreign investment that seeks us to do real business in, rather than just tax jurisdiction shopping.
“In contrast, our government’s rush to attack and challenge a state-aid decision sends a signal that they don’t believe in our locally-based business community, nor in smaller operations who set up shop here to achieve more than rent-seeking.
“What the government is signalling to the world outside is panic at the prospect of losing appeal for a certain kind of business model, based on homoeopathically diluted tax rates.
“Is that all we have to show for our industrial policy under Fine Gael’s watch?”