Trade unions support European Parliament demands for EU action against wealthy tax dodgers!

Brussels, 17/05/2013

As the European Parliament is due to vote on 22 May on the report on Fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens by MEP Kleva Kekuš (SL, S&D), European trade unions encourage all MEPs to support it.

The draft report proposes concrete steps towards banning all tax havens and forcing transnational companies to pay their fair share of taxes on the huge profits they make. If adopted, it will send strong signals to the EU Summit on 22 May.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), which organizes, amongst others, workers in tax services, have been demanding for years from the EU concrete binding actions for tax justice and the end of ruthless tax competition, not empty promises.

At a time when workers across Europe are facing deep austerity and the longest period of recession in the history of the European Union, tax justice is of the utmost importance. As austerity measures are coordinated at EU level, surely EU leaders can agree binding measures to cut down on tax dodging.

Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary states that "It is estimated that one trillion Euros are lost to tax evasion and avoidance every year in the European Union, where cuts in public spending have been amongst the deepest and public anger is understandably growing. On top of that, as our research has shown, in most EU countries, austerity is depleting the tax services of the capacity of collecting taxes. If governments are serious about tackling the tax fraud industry they must ensure that tax administrations have the sufficient human and material resources to do so”.

The EP report demands swift adoption in Council of the revised Directive on Taxation of Savings Income in the form of interest payments, and of the 2011 draft Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, and to extend country-by-country reporting for cross-border companies to all sectors.

Bernardette Ségol, ETUC General Secretary says: “Today it is clear to all that bank secrecy, offshore centres and tax havens steal revenue needed to finance our social welfare, as well as preventing sustainable growth. This, together with austerity policies across Europe, has greatly contributed to the increase in inequality, with global wealth now concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority. This undermines democratic institutions that are hijacked by powerful economic lobbies. It is time to act. We trust that if adopted, the European Parliament’s report will not be ignored by EU governments”.

For more information contact, }}

EPSU: Pablo Sanchez [email protected] +32 474 62 66 33

ETUC: Patricia Grillo [email protected] +32 2 224 04 30