Sinn Féin made promises to the people that they simply could not keep – Richmond

-   Neale Richmond, TD

Irish Government position on Apple state aid case vindicated by today’s ruling of the General Court of the European Union

Sinn Féin made promises to the people that they simply could not keep, using imaginary money, a Fine Gael TD has said. Deputy Neale Richmond was reacting to today’s ruling by the General Court of the European Union that Ireland granted no state aid to Apple companies.

Deputy Richmond said: “Members of Sinn Féin, along with a number of their friends on the hard left of Irish politics, are great at spending imaginary money.

“They collectively had the Apple tax money promised to various groups across society, giving false hopes to people and all the while showing a worrying ignorance of the legal and financial requirements of the process.

“Today’s ruling of the General Court of the European Union that Ireland granted no state aid to Apple companies and that the correct amount of tax was charged, shows why Sinn Féin were wrong in promising money to people that they simply did not have.

“As recently as March, Mary Lou McDonald irresponsibly claimed the Government could reach into the escrow account in which the disputed money was held, and use it to pay for people’s wages during the coronavirus crisis. This dishonesty was particularly disrespectful to the Irish public at a time when so many people felt vulnerable. Late last year Matt Carty pretended the money could be used for housing. Back as far as 2016, David Cullinane claimed the money could be used to pay for hospital beds.

“This type of populist nonsense is classic Sinn Féin, and it is of no surprise also from those on the hard left such as Richard Boyd Barrett and Bríd Smith who equally called for the disputed money to be spent when it was just not possible.

“After today’s ruling we are seeing further desperate attempts at false hope and populism from those asserting that it is only half time and there will be an appeal. In fact it is more like injury time. An appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union can only be made on the basis of a point of law.

“It’s important to note that Ireland has made a number of changes to our tax law in recent years to increase transparency. We have taken action to prevent Irish incorporated companies from being stateless for tax purposes and we have shut down structures which allowed for the exploitation of gaps in US anti-avoidance rules. We are continuously making changes to ensure we are up to date with best practice on tax transparency and exchange of information. As a result Ireland is one of only 23 jurisdictions to have been found to be fully compliant with new international best practice by the Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information.

“The Government appealed the Commission Decision on the basis that Ireland granted no state aid. Today’s ruling of the General Court vindicates that position and those making false promises to people about how imaginary money would be spent should put a stop to this misleading populism.”

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