Stephen Fry, one of Apple’s greatest champions, has called on the tech giant to pay more tax.
The TV personality said he had “absolutely no patience” for any large corporations “getting away with such minuscule rates of taxation”.
Asked by a BBC reporter if Apple should pay more, Fry said: “I don’t know every detail but it seems that they definitely should.”
He added: “I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said tax is the price we pay for civilisation and if people are not paying tax then civilisation falters. Streets don’t get lit. There’s more crime. Everything gets worse.”
His comments come after the European Commission ordered Apple to repay €13bn (£11bn) to the Irish government in back taxes. The Irish government and Apple have pledged to appeal the decision.
Fry has written at length about his devotion to Apple’s products. He claims to be the second person in Europe to have bought the Macintosh. In a Guardian review in 2014 he called the iPhone 6 the most exquisite mobile ever made.
Last year, he interviewed Apple’s design guru Jony Ive for the Telegraph and wrote: “Suffice to say I have watched the fortunes of the Big A from a distance and from close up for more than 30 years. Some people love Ferraris, tifosi they are called. Some people love Apple products. Fanbois we are called. And yes, that is the right spelling. I apologise.”