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Tax evasion costing EU citizens about €1 trillion – Childers

Press Release

Wednesday 25 Mar 2015

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, today expressed her support for a number of findings of an annual report on taxation due to be voted on this evening in Brussels.

Ms. Childers said: “Research commissioned by my political group in Parliament found that we lose about a whopping €1 trillion in potential tax revenue to tax fraud and avoidance.

“Tax evasion threatens the delivery of social protection, and is blatant injustice against working, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, and those that depend on these supports. In this era of almost blanket austerity, to allow these tax deals to continue unchecked will only further damage people’s trust in democracy.

Ms. Childers was speaking ahead of a plenary debate on the report and on the Commission’s recent proposal to require the exchange of information on any new tax deals and those granted in the past 10 years.

The Dublin MEP has also been selected as a substitute member of the European Parliament’s special committee to probe into tax ruling practices:

“I was among the first to join forces with other colleagues in Parliament to set up a proper committee of enquiry into these practices. In the event, we had to accept the creation of a less powerful body, because the conservatism of a majority of MEPs who showed no interest in proper scrutiny.

“At least they seem to have been shamed into allowing for some substantial action, even if they blocked access to national documents.

“It is interesting to note that most of Fine Gael’s EPP colleagues who initially joined me signing the request for the committee of enquiry were somehow persuaded to withdraw their signatures. I wonder why and at whose behest?

“EU legal action on tax matters requires unanimity of all Member States, but we are pushing for modest measures towards fairness are a very modest step forward which all can accept.

“These include information and transparency on tax rulings and where corporate profits are made and taxes paid, through country by country reporting from businesses.”