Amid signs of strain on its fragile coalition, the Irish cabinet has decided to join Apple's appeal against the EU's 13 billion euro tax demand. Ivor Bennett reports.
Ireland may've had Apple in the palm of its hand. But it's clearly not a feeling it's used to. The Irish cabinet eventually deciding not to take the 13 billion euros in back taxes Apple's been ordered to pay Fearing it may not be as lucrative as it sounds. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "That would do untold damage to the Irish economy in the longer term. They can't risk losing these tech giants, they've done incredibly well to get them and keep them. And that's a testament to the workforce Ireland has." As many as one in ten jobs in Ireland come from multinationals like Apple. Lured by the country's favourable tax regime. Losing that, would mean losing a key part of the economy. Even if the money on offer would've gone a long way itself - equivalent to last year's healthcare budget. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "It's interesting that the Irish cabinet has become so split on this in the last couple of days. What was previously a firm line to challenge the ruling has changed. And 13 billion I suppose would do that to the best of us." But even with Ireland in its corner, Apple could yet take a bruising. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "The fact is that one of the world's greatest companies, one that likes to play the moral high ground card, has been caught really. And while you can argue the merits of the case and that the Commission may be overstepping itself, it certainly doesn't do wonders for their public image at the moment." For Ireland too, though, image is everything. At least amongst multinationals.