by Liam Deegan

“€380 million if unmitigated factors are not considered, €280 million if they are”. This is the estimate of the impact of the Central Statistics Office higher than average GDP figures on our EU Budget contribution for 2017 according to Michael Noonan.

For those who are not aware or even remotely interested in how Ireland Inc works under the management of Michael Noonan, let me explain a fact or two:

“In simple terms it means that over inflated income through tax dodging aka tax inversion deals by the myriad of “offshore companies based here” including the seemingly untouchable Apple, Google and the many aircraft leasing companies who use Ireland as a tax haven to funnel income and profits through to other noted tax havens have added millions to our annual contribution to the running of Europe”.

In effect, Noonan has turned Ireland into a offshore tax haven on par with Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. This will have serious consequences for us as an economy down the line. The extra payment to Europe is a direct consequence of his allowing this country be used as an economic mule for the financial smugglers.

When Noonan approved the Central Statistics Office release of the meteoric and whopping rise in our gross domestic product (GDP) to 26 percent from a previous estimate of 7.8 per cent, it was heralded by the government and certain sections of the media as wonderful news and something to rejoice and celebrate… Until the real economists such as Nobel winning economist Paul Krugman got stuck into the detail. Krugman is now famed for his coining the phrase ” Leprechaun Economics” in order to explain the sudden and huge rise in GDP.

Dodgy tax deals with multinationals were the reason behind the whooping and cheering heard through the corridors of the Department of Finance. The taxpayer funded champagne filled glasses were no doubt clinking in the expensive restaurants and eateries around Merrion Square with Noonan and his band of merry financial wizards gleefully telling the world how Ireland has dragged itself out of the bottom of the financial quagmire and to be the new kings of the financial swamp when it comes to economic growth.

However it is beyond believable that Noonan and his band of merry financial wizards once again got lost in basic bookkeeping in that they never accounted for the extra millions that now have to be taken from some department budget to pay Europe for something that was of absolutely no benefit to the Irish economy except to drastically skew the growth figures and make us look like crooks in the eyes of the world.

So in effect, the activities of number of tax dodging multinational firms based in the IFSC and throughout the country are responsible for the “unexpected extra payment” and all the while we are going to handsomely pay for bad bookkeeping in the Department of Finance and no one is to blame, not even a lowly clerk?

No doubt someone in the Central Statistics Office is also feeling rather sheepish and embarrassed having being forced to release figures that have made us the laughing stock of the economic world.

Dodgy tax deals allowed and encouraged by Noonan are not only costing this country it’s good and previously untarnished reputation but is also costing every citizen a pretty penny for years to come or as long as this tax dodging dealing goes on. Remember that the government has spent over three quarters of a million Euro trying to stop Apple paying it’s fair share of the taxes due to this country.

So will Noonan take the €380 million out of the bondholders payments instead of the October budget? Of course he won’t! That extra EU payment will be covered by more people on trolleys in hospital corridors, less teachers in classrooms, a cut in social services for sure, increases in taxation and anywhere else he can do harm.

We really have to ask ourselves who Noonan works for, because it sure as hell isn’t us!