Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (162)

Michael McGrath


162. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the loss incurred on the escrow account holding the money received from a company (details supplied) will be recouped from it; if the loss will be incurred by the State if the appeal is lost or by it if the appeal is won; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30789/19]

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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). This represents the full amount of the alleged State Aid and no further such payments will be made into the Escrow Fund. 

The Department of Finance recently published the financial statements for the Escrow Fund for 2018 which are available at the following link –

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 at the conclusion of the entire legal process, will be returned to Apple or paid to the State depending on the final determination over the validity of the Commission's Decision in the European Courts. As this process is expected to take a number of years, it is not possible to determine what the value of the Escrow Fund might be at that point in time.