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Apple ruling should be sounding alarm bells

Published 06/09/2016

The recent EU ruling about Apple's tax affairs and the response of the Irish government should ring alarm bells on this side of the border as well.

It has been clear for a long time that the Irish Republic's dependence upon foreign direct investment, and its provision of a - let us say remarkably generous - corporate tax and regulatory regime is as much a bubble as the Celtic Tiger property boom.

It is both economically unsustainable and morally wrong, forcing ordinary taxpayers to pay for the infrastructure that rich corporations rely upon, and depriving the poorest countries in the world of desperately needed revenue.

As Professor Richard Murphy, with whom I shared a platform analysing the Northern Ireland Executive's nonsensical corporation tax plans, said on RTE radio this week: "The politicians have to decide, whose side are they on? Global capital's or ordinary people's? It's really as blunt as that and there can eventually be only one answer if we're going to keep democracy and stability in our countries, which is, the people must win."

I hope that our Executive, whose economic strategy seems to be to follow the Republic's folly as closely as possible, will have a rethink before continuing any further down this cul-de-sac.

We have all we need in Northern Ireland: a skilled and enthusiastic workforce, creative and innovative ideas and abundant natural renewable resources, to build a sustainable, thriving and fair economy on the firm foundations of our own enterprise.

Tanya Jones

Green Party, Fermanagh and South Tyrone

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