Yes to tackling tax evasion - No to a common euro-tax!

21-May-2013 @ 9:0

Kay Swinburne Kay Swinburne

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs will today refuse to back moves which they fear would be a first step towards a common corporation tax - imposed right across Europe and decided in Brussels.
The worrying measures come in two reports put before the European Parliament today. Both set out ostensibly to tackle tax evasion - but they spoil that good intent with a raft of sweeping proposals which could be used to pave the way for a common tax regime.
Conservative MEPs are vehemently opposed to the idea of a so-called Common Consolidated Consolidated Tax Base (CCCTB) and so will abstain on the package as a whole, despite their strong support for all sensible measures to ensure that multi-nationals pay their taxes fully, fairly and squarely.
One of the reports, by Slovenian Socialist MEP Mojca Kleva Kekus, not only calls for the CCCTB but would also hugely boost EU powers by allowing the Commission to negotiate tax agreements with third powers.
Kay Swinburne MEP, Conservative spokesman on economic and monetary affairs, said: "It is abhorrent that some multinational companies are working to the best of their ability to pay as little corporation tax as possible.
"The game of cat and mouse with global companies over corporate taxation is not new, yet over the last 15 years it seems that many governments have given companies an easy ride.
"I firmly believe in tax sovereignty. Not only do Member States have a responsibility to deal with their own companies and jurisdictions, they have a responsibility to ensure that their tax law doesn't create perverse incentives globally.
"The only way to address this is via the G8 and the G20. David Cameron is leading the debate internationally to find ways of solving these problems.
"Globally agreed standards for reporting, exchange of relevant quality data and simplified tax systems, collecting tax on world-wide income where appropriate, will ensure fairness in taxation globally.
"The FTT (Financial Transactions Tax) debate and the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base are distractions, as are debates around EU own resources and creating new EU lists for identifying tax havens.
"We need to focus on overcoming the remaining hurdles in order achieve a new global cooperation that will really make a difference instead of getting involved in new projects that will simply increase companies' incentives to avoid EU taxation entirely.
In these reports the European Parliament has missed an opportunity to make a real difference. The Socialists have insisted on adding their own anti-capitalist dogma which is divisive and very unhelpful. I call on them to drop it and pay attention to the main issue of tackling tax evasion and driving economic growth."
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