SP totally opposed to EU tax on text messages

2 December 2009

SP totally opposed to EU tax on text messages

The Netherlands should send a proposal for a European tax on SMS or text messages directly to where it belongs – the rubbish bin. That was the reaction of SP Member of Parliament and European Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel to leak European Commission documents which revealed that the EU's unelected executive is seriously considering a whole range of European taxes, including one on text messages. The aim of the tax measures would be to finance the EU's own budget.

Harry van Bommel “Dutch citizens must be protected from a European Union which constantly wants more and more," says Van Bommel. "Allowing the EU to raise its own taxes is totally unacceptable.”

The European Commission hopes that by imposing taxes it will raise the EU's profile. Van Bommel sees this as a misconception. “As things stand a fixed proportion of VAT goes to the European Union, but hardly anybody knows about it. All is does is lead to bureaucracy and waste. Direct taxes won't generate more support for the EU, rather the reverse.”

Van Bommel too advantage of Tuesday's annual debate on the State of the (European) Union to issue his call to the government, pointing to recent pronouncements by Commission President Jose Barroso in favour of keeping the possibility of European taxes open. Secretary of State for European Affairs Frans Timmermans responded by expressing sympathy for the SP's position. In a general sense, Timmermans said, the government is opposed to European taxes.

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