Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted there is no special deal between the Government and Apple
The tech giant is appearing before the EU’s highest court today as the European Commission argues Apple should pay €13.1 billion in additional tax to the State.
Lawyers representing the European Commission, Ireland, Apple and other interested parties on Tuesday laid out their arguments before the grand chamber of judges at a hearing in the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) on Tuesday.
The second-highest court in the EU previously agreed that Ireland did not offer Apple an unfair competitive advantage and annulled the tax bill. The Commission is hoping that decision will be overturned today.
It found in favour of Apple and Ireland which had argued the company had not been given an unfair advantage with a “sweetheart deal”.
Mr Varadkar said claims of a “sweetheart deal” for Apple are false.
“The allegation made by the European commission is that in the past, and this was before I was in Government, there are alligations that in the past there was a special deal with Apple that wasn’t available to other companies.
“If that were true, it would obviously be very wrong, but it wasn’t true.”
Robert Sweeney, head of policy at the think-tank TASC, said if the EU wins, then Ireland should consider investing in public sector workers.
“If you look at the size of the public sector workforce, we are definitely below European norms, we are around 15 per cent, it’s significantly higher in most European countries.
“I have cautioned against spending because that could stimulate an already overstimulated economy.”