Apple tax scandal – a system rotten to its core

 

By Seán Burns

apple-tax-biteIn yet another farcical display of hypocrisy, the Southern government is appealing the decision of the European Commission that Apple must pay €13 billion in taxes avoided through a sweetheart deal with the state. Apple has cash reserves of over €200 billion. This puts paid to the lie that there isn’t enough wealth in society to provide jobs, homes and public services.

The Southern government has unashamedly displayed its position as a faithful servant of big business. The Irish state has demonstrated its complete disregard for the lives of working-class people in Ireland. They capitulated wholeheartedly to the Commission when it came to bank bail-outs and austerity. There was no appeal of the demand for water charges. Yet, when it comes to defending the profits of multinationals, the government rushed to the barricades!

European Commission – for fair profiteering

In spite of this ruling, the European Commission is no friend of working-class people. The European Commission is a central component of the Troika and has been a key force in pushing the austerity agenda across Europe. Its ruling in this case is not an exception. It defined Apple’s tax evasion as “illegal state aid”. Using the same terminology, it would opposed nationalisation of industry to save jobs. They are not opposed to corporate profiteering – they just want an even playing field for profiteers!

The €13 billion must be paid. That is money which could be used to tackle the crises in housing, health and education. Taxation of big business should be significantly increased, with wealth being pumped back into the economy with investment in infrastructure, industry and public services. The Panama papers and the Apple scandal have gave a glimpse into the immense wealth which is hoarded by the 1%. It must be taken into public ownership and used in a planned and democratic to meet the needs of all.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Concentrix: Victimising the Working Poor

Next Article

NI Economy: A Neo-Liberal Failure

Related Posts
Read More

Harland & Wolff: The hidden history of workers’ struggle

The history of Northern Ireland is often present as simply being of two traditions - nationalism and unionism - in conflict with each other. Almost everything is painted as belonging to one or the other, including the shipyard. It is also true that most things do have a history tainted by sectarianism. But there is also another history, one which we see in the shipyards, across Belfast and across Northern Ireland - that is the labour tradition, where working-class people have stood together to fight in their common interests.

Read More

Irish language abused by Orange and Green politicians

In the final days of the last Assembly Executive, before it collapsed under the weight the RHI scandal, the issue of Irish language rights re-emerged. The DUP’s Paul Givan announced a cut to the Líofa bursary scheme, which provides financial assistance to young people to attend Irish language courses in gaeltacht areas. With the sectarian line drawn, as expected, both the DUP and Sinn Féin lined up to take pot shots at one another, with the other 3 of the main parties sniping from the sidelines.