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21.22 23 Mar 2020


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The Taoiseach has flatly rejected calls from Sinn Féin for the Apple tax money to be used to pay for coronavirus supports.

Leo Varadkar has said the money is not the government's to take and they will be finding other means to pay for the required measures.

The disputed tax collected from Apple is worth around €14bn.

In 2016, it was ruled by the European Commission that the Irish state must recover tax benefits given to the tech giant.

Apple is currently appealing the ruling.

On Sunday, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said that the state could use the account where the funds are being held to help the Irish economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Political party leaders met this afternoon to discuss the next steps in responding to COVID-19, and Mr Varadkar was clear that those steps would not involve raiding the Apple tax money.

He said: “Mary Lou McDonald should know better, the Apple money is in an escrow account and that is where it is being held until the European courts decide where that money is going to go.

“The European courts will decide whether that money either belongs to Apple or if it comes to the Irish revenue commissioners and then has to be distributed out among the countries of Europe.

“It’s not ours to take, it's in an escrow account and it’s now before the courts.

“She should know better before coming out with that kind of rubbish.”

Speaking after today's meeting, Ms McDonald said more supports need to be offered to those in vulnerable parts of the workforce.

She said: "It's intolerable and it's unacceptable that working people are being left with so much risk."

Additional reporting by Seán Defoe

Main image: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking to the media today. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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