By Patrick Brogan
In case you missed it, AIB will not be paying corporate tax in Ireland for 20 years, at least. AIB was nationalised and bailed-out by the Irish State, funded by taxpayers money. AIB shares were recently sold off. In June, the Government announced that it sold 28.75% of shares for €3.4 billion.
The details of this can be found on MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s Facebook page. AIB CEO Bernard Byrne said the bank would not pay tax for at least another 20 years. It is pointed out in the post that AIB has already turned profit (€800 million) in the first six months of this year and that the bank received generous aid from the Irish Government, or corporate welfare to steal a phrase from The Juice Media.
This must raise issues concerning competition laws. Surely, if a company is no longer paying taxes it has an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Ireland has already suffered embarrassment relating to taxes. Apple was ordered by the EU Commission to pay Ireland €13 billion in unpaid taxes. The Irish Government appears to not want this money as it has appealed this decision at every turn.
Earlier this week, Bernard Byrne announced to the Oireachtas that AIB had plans to fund social housing through an approved housing body with the potential of 150 houses being built. A big part of the Irish housing crisis is that so much of Government money is tied up in bailouts for these banks.
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