The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament today presented the new Irish EU presidency with a 'call to action' on EU taxation policy (1). Highlighting the current loopholes in EU legislation and deficiencies in EU tax policy, the European tax pact sets out concrete measures that need to be taken to tackle tax fraud and evasion in Europe, which is depriving national exchequers of vast sums in lost revenue each year. Commenting on the plan, Green economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold (MEP, Germany) said:
"'Legitimate' tax avoidance and dumping deprives exchequers in EU member states of €1 trillion in revenue per year, according to the EU Commission. The failure to address this problem in the context of the current economic crisis is scandalous, all the more so given the growing acceptance that the exclusive preoccupation with contracting public spending has exacerbated problems in crisis countries. Robust action on tax avoidance would counterbalance this.
"The role of the Ireland in facilitating large multinationals to avoid their tax responsibilities for economic activities carried out across the EU has been well documented. However, Ireland now has a unique opportunity at the helm of the European Union to set the record straight. This means proactively leading moves to reform EU rules on taxation, with a view to eliminating the loopholes that allow tax avoidance and dumping to take place. Unfortunately the programme of the Irish presidency of the EU Council does not prioritise this urgent matter.
"The Greens have called for a European tax pact, which would include measures to strengthen government revenues so that not only the weakest members of society have to share the burden for complying with the European fiscal pact. We call on the Irish EU presidency to lead the way in making this complementary tax pact a reality rather than making vague statements about progressing issues that are already on the agenda."
(1) Click to view the European tax pact - a call to action on European tax policy (pdf)
- See video of Sven Giegold's plenary speech addressing Irish taoiseach Enda Kenny and outlining the call to action: http://youtu.be/114xwQf9uog