Rotten Apples

31 Aug

In a landmark decision the EU has decided that Apple should pay 14 billion euros in tax in the Republic of Ireland.

Apple nominally have their headquarters in Ireland and pay corporation tax at 0.005%. This is the mother of all sweetheart deals. In reality there is a modest building, but almost no-one works there.  The arrangements between Apple and the Irish government are a means whereby Apple avoid paying tax. This is the most profitable corporation on the globe, and they pay almost no tax.

Multi-national corporations who avoid paying tax in this manner are freeloaders. They expect to be provided with infrastructure, services such as electricity and water, police and fire brigade. They expect their employees to be educated and provided with healthcare. Yet they pay nothing towards these costs. They must be made to pay, or they will beggar us all.

A combination of the unresisted rise of multinationalism and the dominance of neo-liberal economic theory has led to this injustice. In fact any other economic theory is rubbished by all the media, which are all owned by tax-dodgers! The rich corporations rake the money in and the poor go to the wall. It is time to make a change.

I have always suggested that complex problems have no simple answers. This is not a complex problem. The answer is for these corporations to pay tax in the countries where they make their profits in a point of sale tax.

The fight-back has begun. Now it needs to be continued. The president of the EU is Jean-Claude Juncker. As Prime Minister of Luxembourg he was responsible for setting up schemes very like the arrangements Apple have in Ireland, for Amazon and other multi-national tax-dodgers. If there are actions against Luxembourg I will give three cheers instead of the one I have so far given.  In the meantime there is some light at the end of the tunnel.Apple_gray_logo

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