"Developing a comprehensive strategy to fight unfair and harmful tax practices is our priority" say S&Ds
The European Parliament's draft report in response to the Lux Leaks scandal will be presented next Monday in Strasbourg to the “TAXE special committee”, asking for a coordinated EU action against tax evasion and tax avoidance by big corporations.
Ahead of the meeting, one of the European Parliament's two rapporteurs, S&D Euro MP Elisa Ferreira said:
"This is an agenda that the Socialists have been fighting for a long time. I hope that this report can gather the broadest possible support in the European Parliament, so that the fight against unfair and harmful tax practices becomes an urgent priority in the Council.
"We confirmed that competition in Europe is no longer among companies, but among Member States engaged in strategies of beggar-thy-neighbour by offering a variety of creative tax measures to attract companies and artificially raise their own tax bases, thus depriving other countries of important parts of their due tax revenues.
"These strategies create an uneven distribution of the tax burden to the detriment of the more fragile sectors of society - citizens and small and medium sized enterprises - thus raising serious questions on the fairness and legitimacy of our tax systems.
"It is becoming impossible to explain to our citizens that the Member States that are pressing for austerity in the more vulnerable countries are often the same ones that contribute to the erosion of their tax base."
S&D Group spokesperson on the special TAXE committee, Peter Simon stressed:
"Our suspicion has been confirmed: Tax avoidance organised by the state is not an exception, but practically a business model. There also seems to be very little sense of wrongdoing among those in charge. In order to fundamentally change this dynamic, we need a comprehensive set of measures providing, not only a stronger legal framework against aggressive tax planning by companies, but also clear transparency rules and adequate sanctions for non-compliance.
"Building on the ongoing EU Commission investigations against multinational companies, we also ask the Commission to put forward strict state aid guidelines as soon as possible, stating unequivocally that these practices are illegal".