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Apple and Google got €25m in grant aid from IDA

ENTERPRISE Minister Richard Bruton has said Apple and Google have received an aggregate €25m in grant assistance from the IDA since the two firms established in Ireland.

In a written parliamentary response to a question by Sinn Fein's Peadar Toibin, Mr Bruton said that since establishing itself here in 2003, Google Ireland had received €7.5m from IDA Ireland.

Since setting up in Ireland 33 years ago, Apple has received €17.8m in grant assistance from the IDA in support of its major corporate activities in Cork.

Apple employs 4,000 people here while Google employs over 2,500. Mr Bruton's figures show the State has received multiples of what was paid to the firms in grant assistance through personal taxes.

"Given the number of employees working in each company in Ireland, if all were just earning the average wage then the tax revenue for the Exchequer each year would be of the order of €6,400 per worker in PAYE and USC payments, or €41m per year in aggregate.

"This figure is likely to be much larger as staff at both these companies would likely be earning above the average wage."

Mr Bruton repeated his assertion that Ireland was not a tax haven. "I wish to reiterate that Ireland is not a tax haven. Since the 1950s, there has been a consistent government policy to use a competitive corporation tax rate as a means to attract investment and jobs to Ireland."

Mr Bruton said that he was not able to supply the numbers of companies that were incorporated here but non-resident for tax purposes as they were not separately compiled.

On the IDA's role in attracting such companies, he added: "In the course of its engagement with client companies, IDA Ireland provides general information to companies on the Irish tax regime.

"However, the IDA is not a tax advisory body. Obviously companies and their financial advisors engage separately and directly with the Revenue Commissioners as required."

Irish Independent