Irish VAT legislation provides that only the Minister of Finance may decide that public authorities can register for and charge VAT.
However, EU law states that public bodies should not be exempt from VAT when they engage in the same activities as private operators.
If they were, this would lead to a distortion of competition, meaning private companies would not have a level playing field in the market.
Now that Ireland is a net contributor to the EU I say we tell them to go screw themselves and if they want to take us to court the Irish government will just withhold its contributions to the EU and use it help properly fund the public services. Then tax payers wont have to pay for those services and so there wont be any need to charge VAT which should keep the eurocrats happy.
And as for a level playing field for private operators against public services, how about not having to deal with public service unions as a great leveler in their favor?