Fighting for tax transparency in Europe

The fight continues against tax-dodging and secrecy for multinational corporations, with an important vote in Parliament yesterday.

My colleague Anneliese Dodds MEP, together with Rachel Reeves MP, wrote about this in the Times this week. The full article is not free, but the extract below summarises the key issues:

Labour MEPs have pressed the case to fight tax dodging with proposals for new, transparent, country-by-country reporting rules.

If the prime minister is serious about tackling abuses, he would support these proposals in Europe. But Tory MEPs voted against proposals for public country-by-country reporting four times last year and have just done the same again today.

At the EU level, most people now agree that multinationals should be forced to publish exactly where they make their profits and where they pay their tax.

Full public country-by-country reporting, broken down by every country in the world was a key recommendation of a European parliament report at the end of last year, backed and steered through by UK Labour MEPs.

More than anything, this whole debate shows why we need to work together with our neighbours. There’s no point one country having tough rules if money can be moved to where secrecy prevails.

To be successful, nations must work together if we are to ensure that tax havens don’t deplete our tax revenues. This case should be made ahead of the EU referendum on June 23. If we were to leave the EU, getting tax havens to open their borders will become much harder to achieve.

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