Regardless of whether or not an appeal should or should not be taken by the Irish government in relation to the Apple tax ruling, apple themselves will of course appeal. We should not mistake the individual issue, whether Apple did or did not get illegal state aid, for the broader issue of Ireland’s over reliance on (tax driven) FDI. Its time for a rethink.
Theres a lot of breathless posturing from the Government about the integrity of the tax system, post Apple. From the sound and fury one would imagine that the Commission (boo, hiss) had made a ruling that our 12.5% rate, blessed be its name, was in itself wrong. In fact all they have done is what they have done in numerous other cases – assert that state aid can be channeled by the tax system. Don’t believe me? Continue reading
So brexit will, or possibly wont, happen. And if it happens we might or might not see a significant change in how the UK interacts with the remaining EU that is if there is a UK and it has not splintered. But what will it really mean for Ireland? And how should we interrogate the issues? A purely economic lens wont really work. We need to look beyond politics, beyond economics. Continue reading
Another week another inversion. This time, passing almost unnoticed in the august torpor, one of the worlds largest meat companies, JBS, signalled that it would relocate its HQ to Ireland. It also noted that this HQ company would be controlled from an office park in Herefordshire. The reasons for this have nothing whatsoever to do with anything real, all to do with favorable tax and legal reasons. This is unlikely to have any effect on GDP, unless of course JBS decide to start using intellectual property and patents to start to shuffle money around, thus creating “exports” from Ireland.
Ireland has a tax problem.. If we were to collect tax at Greek levels, we would take in €8b extra. Greece,…Think about that for a little while and wonder how we could spend that on investment, debt paydown, and increased social services. The chart shows how much more we could raise in taxation if we were to levy tax at the rate of our compeers.
We don’t, really, as an economy pay as much as we should for the services we want. There, I said it. In 2012 we collected 28.7% of GDP in tax. The EU average is closer to 40%. Taxing at the EU average we could have nearly €18b more pa to deploy, taxing at Danish levels nearly €32b. The next time a politician says we dont have resources to prosecute white collar crime, to treat sick children decently, show them the graph here. Continue reading