The government should tell the EU to “f ** k off” – Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary weighed in on the tax dispute between Apple and the European Union, saying the government should write a letter to the EU telling them to “f ** k off”.
Calling the EU decision âbizarreâ, the airline chief said: âOne of the fundamental principles of the European Union is that each country has its autonomy to make its own tax decisions.
âFrankly, the Irish government should do an about-face – it shouldn’t even appeal the decision – it should just write a letter to Europe and politely tell it to fuck off.
âThe idea that you have the state aid crowd – which has seen more court verdicts overturned than any other department in Europe in the past 20 years – comes 10 years after the fact and says, ‘No, we didn’t like it, we think you should have done something else, âis frankly weird. ”
On Tuesday, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager slapped the iPad and iPhone maker with a tax bill of 13 billion euros.
She claimed that Apple only paid 1% tax on its EU profits in 2003 and 0.005% in 2014, and said its deal with the Irish government was illegal under state aid rules .
Apple is set to challenge the ruling, and Mr. O’Leary added: âI think there is no way this will survive a court ruling in Europe. There are some things for which Europe has no competence.
Mr O’Leary went on to say Ryanair was “one of Ireland’s most respectful taxpayers”, having paid a tax rate of around 11.9% on profits last year.
On Brexit, the chief executive, who backed the Remain campaign in the EU referendum, expects the UK to suffer “significant economic damage” as a result of his decision to leave the single block. However, he added that it is too early to revise the company’s financial guidelines.
In July Ryanair said it would “shift” growth away from UK airports and instead focus on EU hubs following the outcome of the Brexit referendum. The company said its UK growth rate is expected to slow to around 15% to 6% next year.
However, with long-term growth in mind, Mr O’Leary is now calling on the UK government to approve three new runways in a bid to end the conundrum of UK airport capacity for “the next 50 years” .
He urged the UK government of Prime Minister Theresa May to be “radical in their decision-making” and approve new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. The proposal would mean ending the battle between Gatwick and Heathrow over a new runway.
Ryanair calls on new UK government to be radical in decision-making on new London runways instead of just picking one [Heathrow or Gatwick] and calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to approve three new runways – one at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, which will finally solve the runway capacity problem for the next 50 years, while ensuring that competition between airports provides efficient facilities and prevent airlines and passengers from being ripped off by gold-plated monopoly runways, âhe said.
The UK government’s Airports Commission last year said a third runway at Heathrow was the best way to increase airport capacity. Then Prime Minister David Cameron delayed his support for the recommendation, saying the government needed more time to assess the environmental impact.
A decision is now expected before the end of the year. Mr O’Leary said expanding a single airport would allow airlines to justify higher prices for customers, which could ultimately help foot the bill.
But competition between three airports would be a boon to travelers and benefit Ryanair in the long run, he said. âWe will have more capacity to grow, tariffs will fall and in a declining tariff environment we will win,â Mr. O’Leary said.
Mr O’Leary made the announcement as he announced new routes to Strasbourg and Faro and more flights to Sofia and Nuremberg from Stansted, Gatwick and Luton airports.
He also warned that Ryanair could lower its profit forecast for the full year if the decline in ticket prices accelerates. “We are not yet revising the guidelines,” he told reporters on Wednesday in London.
âBut we are very cautious about the forecast for the whole year. If the winter rates drop by more than 10 or 12%, we will have to review. “
The carrier said last week it saw its summer season fares drop 9%, more than the 6% to 8% drop expected at the start of the low-cost airline’s fiscal year.
After the comments, Ryanair shares fell 2.5% and 1.6% on Wednesday morning.