The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today launched a tax justice campaign. This comes a week ahead of the Commission presenting an anti-fraud tax package, and the start of the European Parliament’s tax sub-committee in September, whose composition will be announced this Friday.
Iratxe García, S&D Group leader, said:
“Tax justice has been the Socialists and Democrats’ cause for many years. Building on our work, we are proud to establish a new permanent tax sub-committee in the European Parliament. It will be our investigative body to shine a light onto the shady practices of tax abuse and our think tank to design innovative solutions for tax justice.
“It is our job to ensure fairness. It is time to end the on-going tax competition between member states, because it undermines the general interest by taking away resources. That is why we are pushing for an 18% minimum tax rate at an EU-wide level. Also, digital giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook who currently pay barely any taxes, should finally contribute with their fair share. Companies must get taxed where they make their profits.
“This is about rebalancing the effort each one makes to build a better future. The EU could find new resources to pay for the transition to a more sustainable and fair society, without adding any burden to member states. Plastics and kerosene poison our air, water and soil, yet they are not taxed as they should be. Big polluters should contribute more to this transformation, while households must not shoulder the burden.”
Biljana Borzan, S&D vice-president responsible for a new economy that works for all, said:
“Our tax system is broken and we must fix it. Luxleaks and the Panama Papers revealed how big corporations and rich individuals exploit legal loopholes, shop around for the lowest tax rate and hide their money in dodgy tax havens. By cracking down on tax abuse and tax crimes, the public purse will have billions of Euros more to care for our children and the elderly and invest in a fair and sustainable future. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more urgent to fulfil our citizens’ wishes and deliver on tax justice.
“It is unacceptable that big companies who are registered in a tax haven now request state aid. Rescue packages cannot be abused by the rich to get richer. In my book, if you want tax-payer support as an entrepreneur, you must in return provide transparency of these payments through public country-by-country reporting, keep workers on your payroll, and you must have been contributing to public coffers. This is why we are calling on the Commission to ban companies from receiving state aid or tax relief that are registered in tax havens. No tax-payer money for tax cheaters.
“We are calling for a progressive European Wealth Tax assessed on the net worth of the top 1% richest individuals to help fund the COVID-19 recovery. Fairness demands that stronger shoulders carry more.”
You can find the Roadmap here.
You can find the new S&D tax campaign website here.
Our 5 priorities for #tax justice:
- Achieve an EU package on minimum effective taxation and the reallocation of taxing rights to the country where the company makes the profits;
- Reach a progressive environmental taxation package capable of both delivering the Green New Deal and tackling rising socio-economic inequalities;
- Obtain a high level commitment to push for qualified majority voting on some tax related issues in the Council;
- End tax competition by achieving a fully-fledged Common Consolidated Tax Base for Corporate Taxation – a single set of rules for cross-border companies to calculate their taxable profits in the EU;
- Demand fairer taxation of big tech companies and new taxation methods that keep up with the increasing digitisation of the economy.
Ten actions we push the EU to also deliver on:
- Co-ordinate tax reliefs and measures to face the COVID-19 crisis;
- Campaign for an improved European blacklist of tax havens, including EU own tax havens, with sanctions for companies and individuals;
- Ensure a fraud-proof VAT system;
- Design a European Net Wealth Tax to address excessive wealth inequality and combat tax avoidance;
- Fight dodgy tax schemes by defining, reviewing and proposing rules to ensure harmful tax practices are repealed all across Europe;
- Impose penalties for tax advisors and financial institutions who help companies and individuals to cheat their way out of their tax obligations;
- Defend a true Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) to discourage excessive speculation, make financial markets more stable, and ensure all contribute their fair share;
- Set up an EU tax authority that co-ordinates between national tax authorities to crack down on cross-border tax crimes;
- Reward good tax practice by including anti-tax dodging clauses in all EU trade agreements with third countries;
- Organise EU support to the set up a Global Tax Body to jointly tackle tax evasion and tax avoidance and limit tax competition