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30 Aug, 2016 11:24

Irish govt rejects €13bn in #Appletax despite massive bailout debt, public vent fury online

Irish govt rejects €13bn in #Appletax despite massive bailout debt, public vent fury online

Following Tuesday's EU ruling that Apple owes Ireland €13 billion in unpaid taxes, the Irish government has signaled its plan to appeal the ruling - using taxpayer funding.

The EU Commission ruled that Ireland granted “undue tax benefits” to Apple to the tune of a whopping €13 billion. Ireland also gives low-rate tax benefits to other US multinational tech companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn.

READ MORE: Apple ordered to repay record €13bn to cover unpaid EU tax

Ireland's national debt stands at an estimated €185bn. But rather than rejoice in their belated tax windfall, the Irish government (a coalition of the Fine Gael party and independent politicians) are planning to appeal the EU’s order that Ireland demand the back-taxes from Apple.

Following discussion with the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance will now seek Cabinet approval to appeal the Commission decision to the European Courts,” Finance Minister Michael Noonan said in a statement.

Ireland has a period of two months and 10 days to bring an appeal. The Government will now study the decision of the European Commission in consultation with its legal advisors to prepare the grounds for an appeal.”

The decision to appeal is prompted by concerns that making the tech giant pay the tax rates levied on other businesses would negatively impact their decision to base their headquarters in Ireland - where they employ thousands of people.

However in a country that is still in the throes of austerity policies, a housing crisis, and a spike in homelessness and poverty, many are seething at the government’s response to the EU’s Apple tax ruling.  

A Finance Department spokesman had “no comment” on how much they expect the appeal to cost, however earlier this year the government had already spent €667,000 defending its position and the appeal process could drag on for “five or six years”, reports the Irish Independent.