Time for large-scale mobilisation against tax evasion in Europe

21 May 2013

Time for large-scale mobilisation against tax evasion in Europe

The European Parliament and the European Commission called during today’s debate on tomorrow’s European Council meeting for concrete measures against tax evasion, an issue on which the Irish, currently holding the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, remain vague. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong stated the party’s position during the debate. ‘Even tax inspectors no longer get why ordinary taxpayers and small businesses have to pay their full whack while multinationals pay hardly any tax or none at all,’ he said. ‘If the European Council doesn’t tackle this tomorrow, they will lose all credibility.’

Dennis de JongDuring the debate the SP called on the European Council to add the following four points to their ‘to do’ list, as De Jong explains. ‘In the first place the tax treaties between member states and those between member states and countries outside the EU must be revised. Taking taxes at source should not be limited and we must prevent any situation in which, as a result of mismatches, no tax is paid. Secondly, member states must agree that when moneys are channelled to tax havens a withholding tax should be introduced which should be at a minimum level of 25% of profits. Thirdly, the European Council must express its support for what is known as “country-by-country reporting”, which forces corporations to be open about the amount of tax removed by each state. And finally the heads of government should agree to harmonise the tax system so that there is a minimum 25% corporate tax, thus halting the race to the bottom of the table of tax rates.’

In order to increase the pressure in Europe the SP and its sister organisations will be organising a number of protest actions. These will kick off in the Netherlands next Friday with a ‘Tax Free Tour’ of the country’s tax havens, illustrating how little some corporations end up paying. From 17th to 23rd June tax inspectors throughout Europe will be taking action.

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