Merkies: end shady fiscal constructions

10 April 2016

Merkies: end shady fiscal constructions

Foto: Geralt

If it were up to the SP, a parliamentary inquest would begin in the short term into the firms and individuals named in the Panama Papers. The SP has joined Green Left and the PvdA (Labour Party) in bringing forward a proposal to that effect. SP Member of Parliament and financial expert Arnold Merkies explains: "Every year billions of euros are lost to tax evasion and tax avoidance through shady constructions that remain well hidden from everyone. Money that could have been spent on health care, roads or education. The Panama Papers are bringing matters to light that should have been revealed much sooner, by means of a sound tax inspectorate and effective agreements with other countries. We’re still chasing after the facts. It’s time that tax havens and shady fiscal constructions were dismantled."

According to Merkies the leaking of the Panama Papers has done no more than reveal the tip of the iceberg. "If you consider that what you have here concerns the data from only a single firm in Panama, you can see how big the problem probably is. The offshore industry has profited for far too long from all this secrecy. Tough actions must be taken against tax havens that make it possible to conceal money."

The proposal is for the hearing to take testimony from parties named in the Panama Papers, but also from multinationals who use constructions in the Netherlands. In the past tax-avoiding multinationals have refused to appear at various hearings, but the deployment of an official parliamentary inquest would make that impossible as those summoned would be legally obliged to appear.

Merkies stresses how important it is that tax-dodgers don’t get away scot free. "We all pay more because they stash their money away," he says. "It’s theft, so you have to fight hard against it."

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