Proposed tax measures are not enough to address the tax abuses of multinational companies

A press release of Fabio De Masi


During tonight's joint debate on taxation, GUE/NGL MEPs have called for further scrutiny of financial information is still required.

GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Marisa Matias, told the Parliament: "The abuses of multinational companies lead to a loss of taxes in the order of 50 to 70 billion euros. If we include other elements such as tax evasion and speculative tax rulings, then we're talking about 160 to 190 billion euros. This is fraud, which means that other people have to foot the tax bill, particularly workers."

Matias continued: "These companies are not doing their civic duty and this deprives sovereign states of resources which are essential for them to deliver on their duties to fight against poverty, promote economic development and eliminate social exclusion. So instead, we are seeing an increase social exclusion. There must be proper access to financial information for the whole population and that's why I urge other MEPs to support our amendments which would allow democratic and civic scrutiny."

GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the TAXE Special Committee, Fabio De Masi, commented: "The automatic exchange of information hasn't worked for 38 years and the Commission has ignored it until Luxleaks. Centralised information on the automatic exchange of tax rulings should also be made public. These are not matters for private people."

De Masi added: "We now need to follow words with deeds. This report is a small step for the European Parliament, and it's far too small of a step for honest tax payers in Europe. And this is why my group won't let go until the tax cartel has been closed down once and for all."

Portuguese MEP, Miguel Viegas, also added: "Following these tax scandals, the European institutions seem willing to tackle fraud and tax evasion, but all of these proposals may just be a facade, they won't actually be effective. The proposal on automatic exchange of information is back-peddling, and the agreement with Switzerland includes several elements of subterfuge which would prevent them from being implemented.

"The work of the TAXE committee was always hindered. The UK, the Netherlands and Luxembourg denied access to the Code of Conduct Group. They should make information public, but they have continually refused to do so. We have to wonder about the real political will to tackle this problem. We will be watching this matter very carefully," Viegas concluded.