The European Commission has today proposed measures on raising new own resources and fair corporate taxation.
Responding to the proposals, ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr said:
“The recovery fund is one of the EU’s biggest success stories in recent decades, moving Europe away from growth-killing austerity towards the public investment needed for a strong and fair recovery that creates high quality jobs. New own resources are vital to allow Europe to maintain this investment.
“However, the priority for money raised through environmental taxes must be investment in a socially just transition to a decarbonised economy. Environmental taxes without properly funded policies to offset the impact on affected workers and communities risks creating a populist backlash. The Commission should start by reversing the cut to the Just Transition Fund.
“Fair corporate tax should be the EU’s focus for raising resources for more general purposes, so today’s proposal for a directive on a minimum tax rate for multinationals and measures to clamp down on shell companies are a step in the right direction. A common corporate tax rate of 15% will go some way to combating tax avoidance and the race to the bottom in taxes, although a 25% rate would ensure multinationals pay a fairer share.
“These are not technical tax issues but are fundamental to achieving justice and workers’ rights. Workers pay a double price for tax dodging: lower public budgets means poorer quality public services and social protection while profits diverted from healthy companies to tax havens limits the wage levels that can be achieved through collective bargaining. Shell companies also allow employers to avoid their legal responsibilities to comply with workers’ rights and social protection. We will carefully assess the Commission’s proposal and look forward to the European translation of pillar 1 of the OECD tax agreement for increasing own resources."