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Anderson MEP demands meaningful Tax reform

22 May, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Speaking in Strasbourg today on the European Council - Tax Havens and Tax Evasion discussions - Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said that it is beyond time that the EU and Member States took firm action against Tax evaders and implemented strong measures to close loopholes used by Tax Avoiders.

Martina Anderson said:

 “The European Council will meet tomorrow to discuss the pervasive practice among multi-national conglomerates and the superrich of using a myriad of Tax evasion and tax avoidance methods to circumvent state tax regulations.

“This must be more that a smoke and mirrors exercise as we need robust and meaningful tax regimes that ensure that these tax evaders and avoiders can no longer declare obscene profits and dividends for shareholders while the citizens of the countries where they generate these profits are being driven to despair under the draconian austerity being imposed by authorities in Brussels.

“We find ourselves in the scandalous situation – whereby during the Irish European Presidency term and at a time when the Irish government claims that the only avenue open to it in rebuilding the economy is to impose harsh fiscal policies on the population – we hear confirmation of multi-nationals like Google, Apple and Starbucks have been abusing lax tax regulations to the tune of billions of Euro.

“What is required is an action plan with commitments and loophole free regulations that will ensure that these companies abide by the State’s Tax laws and will give confidence to citizens who are fed up with fine words from governments and bureaucrats but no action to ensure compliance.

“While the EU commission appears to be prepared to take action, the EU Council seems less anxious to address this blatant rip-off of the European Taxpayer. Given that the Irish government presently holds the EU Council Presidency, it should lead by example and bring forward legislation - at least in its own jurisdiction - to close the loopholes and enforce compliance. Unless it addresses this issue the legacy of the Irish Presidency will be one of protecting the rich and punishing the poor.”

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