European Greens launch war on tax injustice

The Greens/EFA group have launched a 10-point plan for tax justice in the European Union, which will form part of its core demands for the coming legislative period in the European Parliament. 

The Greens/EFA Group has already been at the forefront of driving demands to combat excessive tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering in Europe.

Comment comes from Sven Giegold, member of the Greens/EFA Group in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and in the Special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance.

On Monday, he told this website,"We need to become serious in fighting tax dumping and money laundering. The next EU Commission must also put tax justice in the European Union at the top of its agenda. It is unacceptable for EU member states to lose billions every year from tax avoidance and money laundering.

The German MEP said, “The Greens/EFA call for a powerful cross-border financial police force to effectively combat financial crime, money laundering and VAT fraud in the EU.

“The EU Commission must swiftly present a new action plan and increase the pressure on EU governments to stop the tax race to the bottom. German Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz must no longer shrug his shoulders and allow billions to be hidden from the tax authorities. Through its blockades in the Council of EU Member States, Germany is making itself an accomplice to tax avoiders and money launderers."

Molly Scott Cato, member of the Greens/EFA Group in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and in the Special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, added:"We are proud to have led on cracking down on corporate tax avoidance in this parliament. But there's still a lot more to do to build a just and equal society.

"Multinational corporations use their transnational structures to dodge paying their share of taxes. They are therefore able to out-compete local independent businesses who pay their taxes and fund the public services that the corporations rely on to help generate their profits. They are parasites who are not paying their way," added the UK deputy.

“But big companies and the super-rich also enjoy tax benefits offered to them by EU Member States. Such benefits end up being paid for by ordinary citizens. EU governments must put an end to the downward spiral of tax competition.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the outcome of the G20 finance ministers' meeting in Fukuoka, Japan at the weekend, Giegold said the progress against tax dumping by digital companies is encouraging. 

He added, "But, there is still a long way to go to reach an agreement. There are significant differences of opinion behind the positions of the G20 states. Not everything that looks technical is truly technical.

"The United States has already undertaken a fundamental reform of its corporate tax system, also to avoid international tax dumping. Progress in the G20 must no longer be used as an excuse to delay European action. The EU Commission's proposals on the digital tax and public tax transparency for large companies are ready for decision. The European Parliament has already adopted the proposals. The German government must no longer block both. Only a Europe capable of acting is strong in global negotiations.

"A global compromise on corporate taxation must not create any pressure to lower corporate tax rates to a corridor of  about 10-13%. Otherwise, the taxation of top incomes would come under pressure at the same time as progressive income taxation. The possibilities for states to reduce social inequality through tax policy must be improved and not reduced by the global compromise."

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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