No to EU direct taxation

10 August 2010

No to EU direct taxation

“The EU should economise, not tax", says SP Member of Parliament and European affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel in reaction to plans, recently announced by the European Commission, for a European tax. "We have nothing against European coordination of taxes," he adds. "That's why we are strong supporters of a minimum corporation tax to counter tax competition. But European interference in tax systems should go no further than that.”

Harry van Bommel Van Bommel is critical of the European Commission's attempts, by these means, to safeguard its income, now that a number of member states, including the Netherlands, are looking to reduce their contribution to the EU. An EU tax might mean that member states would pay less, yet the man and woman in the street would be obliged make up the difference. “The European Commission refuses to tighten its belt, and is even increasing its spending this year, while in every member state deep cuts are being imposed. Instead of finding creative ways to safeguard its income, the Commission should be working hard to address the massive waste which characterises the EU. This once again shows that the Commission is a bastion of arrogance which is far too distant from the European public."

At the end of last year plans for European taxes were already being leaked from the Commission, including a tax on text messages. At that time the Dutch Parliament gave broad cross-party support to a motion from Van Bommel which the government responded to by declaring its opposition to any such taxes. Van Bommel describes himself as "disappointed" by the failure of the government to follow through on this. "There were many other member states, such as Germany, which were also against. The government evidently didn't manage to persuade the Commission to throw these senseless plans into the shredder. Apparently the Commission thinks it still has a chance of putting them into practice. The government must make more effort to get its message across, and straight away." Van Bommel today put a number of written parliamentary questions in which he calls on the Foreign Minister to do just that.

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