I’m very disappointed that Apple has reacted so negatively to demands from the European Union that they pay their fair share of tax. The fact is that they strip money out of economies across Europe and Africa by flogging their wares and not handing over a reasonable share of their profits to cash-strapped governments from Latvia to Morocco. Then, through a dodgy special deal with Ireland, they can squirrel away their money into offshore bank accounts and build-up huge mountains of cash that do no-one any good. Repatriating the money to America apparently is too costly because of the 40% tax deduction.
So, £162 billion from iPhone sales and such like festers in their cash pile. All the European Commission are asking Apple fork out is £11 billion for over 25 years of iniquitous state aid that has enabled the company to squeeze competitors by reporting racking-up ridiculous profits that they don’t even re-invest. That’s less than 10%! Even worse, due to a long-standing loophole in the US tax code, Apple (and many other multinationals) can continually defer federal and state taxes on these offshore earnings for as long as they are kept outside America.
These taxes pay for schools, healthcare, defence and security – all vital services that enable companies like Apple to continue operating profitability with staff who are kept well from cradle to grave, well-educated and free to do their work.
It’s time to send companies like Apple a message – the only declaration that they understand. On the day this juggernaut launches the seventh iteration of their phone, let’s call a halt to their destructive practices. Refuse to buy the iPhone: hit them where it hurts and maybe they will learn that we cannot be taken for granted, our money is not theirs to trifle with and our communities are too precious to be so ruthlessly exploited.