Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, has this week signed a proposal to set up a committee of inquiry to investigate breaches of EU law in relation to tax rulings issued by Member States.
Under its own rules, the European Parliament may set up a committee of inquiry to investigate breaches of EU laws or failure to properly implement them, at the request of a quarter of its members.
Speaking from Strasbourg after signing the proposal, Ms. Childers said:
“The ‘Luxleaks’ revelations of how big multinational companies saved billions of dollars in taxes by channelling revenues through Luxembourg were the last straw.
“As European Parliamentarians, we have the right and the duty to carefully look into these administrative decisions, such as ‘letters of comfort’ offered to multinational companies, and whether the European Commission is enforcing EU rules on State aids.
“Aggressive tax planning by multinational corporations has reached such a scale that its impact on EU Member States’ public finances is not just a matter of fairness and justice. It actually jeopardises our very ability to fund and pursue public policy necessary to meet our citizens’ needs.
“Schemes that allow big companies to get away with paying fractions of 1% in tax don’t even deserve the dubious label of ‘tax planning’. They are a rip off and a slap in the face of everyone who works for a salary and pays income tax.
“Member States increasingly coordinate budgetary discipline and pro-market structural reforms with their EU partners, yet tackling extreme forms of tax competition remains taboo in many civilised political circles.
“In this context, the very least we can do is shed light on these practices and make sure that the rules we have are enforced in the first place”