Dáil committee to hear from EU Competition Commissioner

Margrethe Vestager will address the Apple tax ruling during today's Finance Committee hearing

Dáil committee to hear from EU Competition Commissioner

Margrethe Vestager. Picture by: Yves Logghe / AP/Press Association Images

TDs and Senators will today be hearing directly from the EU Commissioner behind the Apple tax ruling

The Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

She is set to give more details about the Commission's ruling that Ireland gave Apple preferential tax treatment.

The Government is appealing the decision, which also saw Ireland ordered to recoup €13 billion in tax from Apple.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin this morning, the commissioner denied the EU is targeting US tech giants deliberately.

She explained: "Europe is a wonderful place to do business, and Europe is open for business.

"I do think it's our obligation if we find that or we get the suspicion that some are not playing by the rulebook, that we put those concerns into a statement of objection."

Speaking ahead of this afternoon's hearing, Finance Committee chairperson John McGuinness said: "Apple Inc. employs thousands of people in Ireland and this ruling could have far-reaching implications for multi-nationals in this country.

"We welcome the presence of Commissioner Vestager tomorrow, as the Committee embarks on a series of meetings on this highly significant issue," he added.

Committee member Paul Murphy - of the Anti Austerity Alliance - claims the Government's position shows it cares more about protecting multi-nationals than citizens.

"The way the Government sees their own role is not to protect the interests of people in this country, not to have more money for investment in health, education or housing," he argued. "Instead [they look] to protect the interest of these massive multi-nationals - like Apple, like Google, like Facebook."

He added: "The Committee is an opportunity to hear the facts that will be a real embarrassment to the Government for how they have collaborated in this massive tax avoidance."