New measures to tackle 'black economy' backed by Conservative MEPs

03-Feb-2016 @ 11:00

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

New measures to crackdown on undeclared work across the EU have been welcomed by Conservative MEPs after they secured a number of key changes.

The European Parliament today approved proposals aimed at improving collaboration between enforcement agencies in Member States and the sharing of best practice to tackle the so called 'black economy'. Conservative MEPs helped ensure that countries will be free to choose which initiatives developed by the new European Platform they participate in.

Conservative Employment and Social Affairs Spokesman Anthea McIntyre welcomed the recognition by the parliament that a "one-size fits-all" approach was not appropriate.

"This Platform is a good example of how the EU should operate," she said. "It demonstrates the EU's value as a means to focus attention on the need for action and for brokering exchanges of advice and assistance for those Member States that need it. It recognises sovereignty while adding value by sharing experience and improving cross border co-operation.

"Undeclared work is a very serious subject. It is linked to tax evasion, benefit fraud and illegal immigration. It undercuts legitimate business and entrepreneurship and undermines workers' rights."

Miss McIntyre attacked UKIP MEPs who voted against the proposals. "I was horrified to hear them defending tax avoidance and in effect condoning breaking the law," she said.

The UK is already taking action against undeclared work. The OECD estimates it represents 1.7% of GDP while in other EU Member States it is as high as 30%.

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