Apple ruling by EU means Republic of Ireland has a choice between low company taxes or EU membership
Councillor David Jones of UKIP has said that he does not believe the Irish Republic will be able to remain long-term in the EU after today’s ruling that Apple must pay £11 billion in company taxes avoided in Ireland.
The UKIP Councillor, who sits on the ABC Council said:
“Today’s ruling by the EU that the Irish Republic has to recover £11 billion from Apple, demonstrates that, as far as Ireland is concerned, it is a choice between low company taxes and EU membership. The EU is going for high company tax and Ireland survived by attracting firms with low company taxes.”
“The EU common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) proposals were originally launched in 2011, re-launched in 2015 and a mandatory proposal was introduced in 2016. The most likely level for an EU-wide corporate tax band would be about 30%. Currently, Germany has a corporate tax rate of between 30% in Berlin to 33% in Munich. In France, corporate tax is levied at 33.2%, in Italy it is levied at 31.4% and in Spain, it is 25%. In the Irish Republic the level is only 12.5% and this has been reduced to only 6.25% for companies engaged in innovation based on home-grown Irish intellectual property and involved in export. Clearly, if Ireland were to conform to an EU common corporation tax rate, it would drive many businesses out of Ireland, lead to mass unemployment and an economic slump. So if the CCCTB goes ahead, as is now likely with the UK’s brexit, then Ireland will have to leave the EU to survive.”
“In any case, only 39% of the Irish Republic’s trade is with the EU, while 61% of it is with Britain, the USA and the rest of the world. So the Republic will eventually face the dilemma – where does most of our trade lie? The official figures also mask some major tax moves. How much of the £34 billion of services imported each year from the EU, for example, is tied up with company tax headquarters based in Dublin buying services from within the same company operating elsewhere in the EU? The same applies to the annual import of services totalling £22 billion a year from the USA. So possibly Ireland’s trading future actually lies outside the EU.”
“Now that the UK is liberated by brexit from any possibility of this EU common corporate tax rate, perhaps the UK should be looking to establish a Commonwealth free trade area, a commonwealth that the Irish Republic could easily rejoin and benefit from. They would be welcomed with open arms. It is, after all, from an Irish Republican point of view, the Commonwealth not the British Commonwealth. They could even join the Sterling area, with all its new–found export advantages, and free themselves from the dangers of remaining in the ticking time-bomb that is the Euro.”
“I welcome the former Chancellor George Osborne’s reduction of UK Corporation tax to 15%. Why stop there? Why not go for 10% or even 5%? Fairer corporate tax would eliminate tax evasion. It would no longer be worthwhile. It would be better to get a smaller percentage of more than a big percentage of less.”