Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (157)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

157. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the amount accrued in interest on €13.1 billion since it was lodged to an escrow account (details supplied); his plans in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29267/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Notwithstanding the appeal in the Apple State aid case and the difference in view between Ireland and the Commission on the issue, the Government has always stated that it is fully committed to complying with the binding legal obligations the Commission’s Final Decision places on Ireland. The State recovered the alleged State aid from Apple. The total amount lodged to the Escrow Fund was circa €14.285 billion (representing the principal amount and relevant EU interest).

The Department of Finance recently published the financial statements for the Escrow Fund for 2018 which are available at the following link - https://www.gov.ie/en/news/9237ee-cover-note-on-financial-statements-of-ireland-apple-escrow-fund/

The financial statements illustrate that the net assets of the Escrow Fund as at 31 December 2018 totalled €14.269 billion, representing a decline in value of €16 million. This decline in value for the Escrow Fund reflects the current negative interest rate environment as illustrated by the consistent negative official ECB Overnight Deposit rate (-0.4%) and negative yields on highly rated euro-sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds.

The arrangements in the Escrow Framework Deed include the agreement that all claims of ownership and access to this money is suspended until the European Courts have concluded the proceedings that the Government and Apple have brought. In general terms, all income/expenses, including any gains or losses will accrue to the Escrow Fund. The final proceeds of the Escrow Fund will only be released when there has been a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission’s Decision.