Monday, September 27, 2010

Message to the Irish government: European Solidarity is Not a One-Way Street

Two European Parliamentarians have issued a stark warning to the Irish government over its tax policies. Markus Ferber and Sven Giegold (Sven chaired TJN's global Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006) have released a joint statement to EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta calling for the Commission to ignore Irish objections and stick to its schedule for creating a common consolidated tax base for corporate taxation in Europe.

This project is a vital step in the direction of creating defensive mechanisms to protect ordinary people from the 'beggar-thy-neighbour' tax policies of countries like Ireland, which use a low tax rate to attract profits-shifting from other European countries but will almost certainly need a bail-out from their European partners as their economy tanks.

Here is the Ferber /Giegold joint statement:

Ireland-Crisis: European solidarity is not a one-way street

Due to the high interest rate spreads on Irish government bonds Markus Ferber, chairman of the CSU group in the European Parliament, and Sven Giegold, Green Spokesperson for Economic and Fiscal Policy in the European Parliament jointly declare:

The situation of the Irish financial system is extremely worrying and is driving towards Greek conditions. Ireland's economic output shrinks,the state is suffering from high interest rate spreads on its bonds and the largest Irish bank is threatened to collapse after having lost billions in speculative activities.

If the dramatic budget situation deteriorated even further and support from the EU became necessary, it is for the Irish government to make concessions in tax policy in return. European solidarity cannot be a one-way street.

The MPs warn: it cannot go on like this: by adhering to a corporate tax rate of just 12.5% and the categorical rejection of proposals for a European common consolidated tax base (CCTB) the Irish government is blocking the situation. If Ireland needed the European Resolution fund the corporate tax rate has to be doubled. Moreover, Ireland had to give up its opposition to European cooperation in tax policy. It cannot be that Ireland already today benefits from the common measures supporting the Euro but at the same time hampers other member states' ambitions collecting their taxes.

The Commission is currently working on a proposal for a common tax base for corporate taxation in Europe. The launch of a directive is scheduled for February 2012. We call on taxation Commissioner Semeta to follow this schedule consistently and not get distracted by skeptical voices from Ireland. The project is very important for the stabilisation of national budgets and the completion of the single market in Europe.

For further information:

Markus Ferber MEP
(Tel.) 0032-2-2845230
(Fax.) 0032-2-2849230

Sven Giegold MEP
(Tel.) 0032-2-2845369
(Fax) 0032-2-2849369


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