Conservative MEPs oppose EU tax straightjacket

02-Dec-2015 @ 19:0

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Conservative MEPs have opposed a move which they fear will see Brussels continue attempts to introduce EU direct taxation and tax harmonisation.

The European Parliament has agreed to extend the mandate of its special TAXE committee, set up in the wake of the "LuxLeaks" revelations of alleged tax avoidance.

The committee's recommendations so far have included the introduction of a common consolidated corporate tax base and the definition of a minimum tax rate, measures the Conservatives believe should remain the responsibility of Member States.

It has also questioned the principle of unanimity in the Council of Ministers on tax matters, under which all national governments currently must endorse any changes.

Ashley Fox, Conservative spokesman on the committee, said: "The European Parliament has granted itself a mandate to continue the tax witch hunt. It wants to keep asking the same question until it gets the answer it wants.

"Instead we feel any continuation of the TAXE work should be delivered to already established parliamentary bodies, such as the ECON tax working group."

The South West and Gibraltar MEP stressed the UK was already leading the way on tax avoidance, for example by committing to introduce legislation implementing the model for country-by-country reporting agreed by the G20.

"Corporate tax avoidance is a very real problem, but these are global companies and a global agreement, rather than a European one, is needed to tackle it."


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