S&D Group: PANA committee must have full access to documents on past tax practices
Following the recent press revelations leaked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists concerning allegations that some member states, including Luxembourg, curbed EU efforts to tackle tax avoidance by multinationals, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella MEP stated:
"It is high time all doubts were cleared up about past tax practices. EU institutions and member states have a responsibility to European citizens to ensure the greatest possible transparency. All relevant documents should therefore be made fully available to the PANA committee, including those related to the code of conduct working group on business taxation.
"All relevant players, including former prime ministers and government officials, should appear in front of the committee. We believe Jean-Claude Juncker should be among them. This is in his own interests but above all this is in the interests of EU citizens. European citizens, the taxpayers, have the right to know the truth about past conduct. They also deserve to be reassured about Europe’s future commitment to fight hateful tax avoidance and evasion.
"The Commission is at the forefront of this battle and we acknowledge its efforts, especially on introducing a common consolidated tax base (CCCTB) for big companies and public country-by-country reporting. This is also the result of Jean-Claude Juncker and Pierre Moscovici's personal commitment. We believe that the clarification requested will make the Commission even stronger in its endeavours."
S&D Group vice-president Udo Bullmann MEP added:
"EU member states cannot afford to block progress in the fight against tax avoidance and evasion. It is unacceptable that big capital is able to maximise profits through aggressive tax avoidance while the social fabric is damaged by continuous spending cuts that drive up inequalities and stall growth.
“Continued inaction in the face of such gross injustices will drive yet more people in the direction of anti-EU populists and nationalists. It is therefore high time we took a proper look at past mistakes and come up with effective action. We as Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament stand ready to take on this battle, together with the European Commission and EU member states."