The European Commission today outlined its 'tax transparency package'. Commenting on the proposals, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said:
"The Commission promised a tax transparency 'package' but what it has presented today is a pretty empty package, with one concrete legislative proposal and the promise of a new 'business taxation package' to follow. It shows the Juncker Commission has still not grasped the seriousness of the situation and the need for a comprehensive EU-level response.
"The proposal on information exchange between member states is necessary and welcome, clarifying an obligation which has existed since the 1970s but not been properly applied. If it had been applied, it would have ensured that odious 'tax rulings' could not have been kept concealed. However, this is only one of a number of measures that could and should be introduced to improve transparency on taxation. New legislation to increase transparency on all tax matters must be prioritised, so as to make unholy deals like those uncovered by Lux Leaks impossible to conceal. Specifically, country-by-country reporting should be extended to all transnational companies. The Greens have tabled proposals to this end in the ongoing review of EU rules on shareholder rights and we would urge all parties to support this."
Economic and finance spokesperson Molly Scott Cato added:
"In its communication, the Commission fails to properly analyse the problems brought into the spotlight by the Lux Leaks revelations. In particular, the Commission does not recognise that tax competition or dumping is a major underlying problem, which undermines the EU's internal market. If this is not redressed, the Commission's 'business taxation package' will also be missing the point. In the aftermath of Lux Leaks our group challenged commission president Juncker to 'act or go': if today's package is the best he can do, then the latter option will look increasingly attractive.