Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s endorsement of a number of proposals to combat corporate tax dodging by a majority of members of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg.
Speaking after voting in support of the measures, which were spearheaded by her political grouping, the Socialists and Democrats, Ms. Childers said:
“Today, Parliament sent a strong message to Member State governments, urging them to claim the hundreds of billions of Euro that fail to see their way to the taxman, every year, throughout the EU.
“The sheer nature and scale of corporate tax avoidance that has come to light, from Luxleaks to the Panama Papers, shows that, for tax purposes, many multinationals have become a power unto themselves.
“They deprive our citizens and taxpayers of scarce funding to maintain decent public services; they undermine the public’s faith in our institutions and laws; and they compete unfairly against all companies which either lack the willingness or the ability to find and employ every trick in the book to avoid paying their share.
“We are pushing to ensure the payment of tax owed where profits are made, that double non-taxation loopholes are plugged, and that intra-company loans are not made to evade taxation and common approaches to tax havens and distorting regimes.
“These and other measures are not an attack on individual countries or companies.
“They constitute a common denominator to establish a modicum of effectiveness and decency to our tax regimes, in an era where a purely national approach leaves us powerless against the forces of globalisation.
“Yesterday, during the debate in Parliament, we saw members come under fire for supposedly pointing the finger at their own country.
“They reveal a misguided sense of tribalism by those who want us to believe their own interests are the same as the country’s interest.
“They’ll jump to invoke sovereignty when these matters arise, but are we really sovereign when we daren’t challenge the power of multinationals?”