Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s vote in the European Parliament to endorse the conclusions of a special report on corporate tax evasion.
Ms. Childers was one of the members of the European Parliament who moved to create a committee of inquiry to probe into the tax dodging scandals that surfaced at last year’s Luxleaks revelations.
The conservative right subsequently downgraded the scope and powers of the committee and resisted some of its conclusions – but most of which were cleared by a cross-party majority today.
Speaking from Strasbourg in reaction to the vote, Ms. Childers said:
“The amount we lose to tax evasion every year has been estimated to be in the region of the whole budget of the European Union.
“Those who constantly bang on about fiscal consolidation and the need for balanced budgets should bear this in mind when faced with the inevitable budget shortfalls. With the actual ordinary taxpayers ending up on the losing side as usual.
“We are only talking about a modicum of transparency and minimum standards to avoid the most egregious practices that lead us down a race to the bottom that punishes working people first and foremost. Yet getting information from the Commission, Member States and corporations has been like pulling teeth.
“Many champions of austerity from the right of the parliament have been denouncing this work as punitive to big business.
“But the punishment has been inflicted on the most vulnerable, whereas the multinationals with the will and resources to dodge tax have been getting away with effective rates which are a joke, and that in many instances is an understatement.
“After all does asking for country by country reporting requirements, taxing profits where they are made and treating all companies equitably amount to all that much?”