Colette Browne, a columnist on the Irish Independent wrote on the Apple tax case yesterday. I am going to ignore her comments on tax itself, although it's worth going to read them for illustration of how weak some of Ireland's and Apple's arguments really are. Instead I am interested in her ethical arguments. As she says:
Irish politicians may well find themselves subject to this populist backlash as they try to negotiate tough new pay deals with public sector unions, or impose a new water charge on the populace, and have the â‚¬13bn Apple ruling thrown back in their faces.
After the Apple tax decision eventually winds its way through the European courts, it may be that Ireland can successfully defend its tax treatment of the company. However, this will just be a legal victory. Morally, we are bankrupt.
This is emphatically true.
What a sorry state for a nation wanting to feel proud of itself a century after the Easter Rising.