Labour MEPs vote for EU investigation into tax avoidance, while UKIP back the tax cheats
Labour MEPs voted today for the creation of a Special Committee to investigate aggressive tax avoidance following the Lux Leaks scandal - action UKIP MEPs voted against.
Labour will also play a critical role in producing a Parliamentary report - informed by the Special Committee - calling on the European Commission to bring forward legislation in key areas in order to prevent future practices of tax evasion and tax avoidance. This report will be produced within six months.
Anneliese Dodds MEP, Labour member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) committee, has been chosen as the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group co-author of the legislative initiative report, sharing drafting responsibilities with an MEP from the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) group, who has yet to be named.
"Labour MEPs have long been calling for a proper crackdown on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, so it is great that after today's vote Parliament can finally get to work on this. We are committed to transparency when it comes to tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
"It is important we understand exactly what has been happening across Europe when it comes to companies, their advisers and even whole countries seemingly working hand in hand to reduce corporate tax rates to little more than 0%.
"That is why today Labour MEPs voted in favour of a special committee to look into these matters.
"But it is even more important that we take action to make sure that these practices can never happen again. That's why I am delighted to be leading the Parliament's work on putting forward concrete proposals to make tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance a thing of the past."
Ms Dodds added:
“UKIP’s MEPs today voted against the setting up of a special committee aimed at uncovering tax evasion and tax avoidance throughout the EU - measures even the Conservatives supported.
“UKIP have once again shown themselves to be more Tory than the Tories, on the side of tax avoiding companies rather than hard working people.”
For further information, please contact Shamik Das on 0044 7920 441362 or 0032 479 790053.
www.eurolabour.org.uk • @EuroLabour
Notes to Editors
1. In November 2014, the 'Lux Leaks' scandal - broken by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - revealed multinational companies had agreed hundreds of secretive 'tax rulings' with Luxembourg. These tax rulings involved the companies creating complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions, and written assurances from the Luxembourg authorities saying they would view such tax-saving plans favourably.
2. Labour MEPs, as part of the European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group, have long been calling for action at a European level to outlaw this kind of behaviour.
As part of its 'Tax Justice' campaign, the S&D group has been calling for:
- All multinational companies compelled to report what they earn, where they earn it and how much tax they pay, broken down country by country:
- A common approach taken to tackling the use of tax havens once and for all:
- A blacklist of those companies that are engaging in tax fraud.
3. All 11 UKIP MEPs who voted today voted against setting up the Special Committee:
- Jonathan Arnott MEP
- Gerard Batten MEP
- James Carver MEP
- Jane Collins MEP
- William (the Earl of) Dartmouth MEP
- Raymond Finch MEP
- Roger Helmer MEP
- Mike Hookem MEP
- Diane James MEP
- Margot Parker MEP
- Jill Seymour MEP
Remarkably, eight of them also voted to censure Mr Juncker on the same issue in November 2014: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bPV%2b20141127%2bRES-RCV%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN