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 Full text 
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect (debate)

  Anneliese Dodds (S&D). Madam President, my thanks go to colleagues who have already spoken to support this report. I am enormously pleased that our Parliament looks set to approve six measures which, if enacted, would radically reduce the possibility of tax dodging across Europe.

As colleagues have said, the measures are: first, making public the profits and taxes paid by multinationals in every country where they operate; second, fixing a common tax base for corporate tax so companies and governments cannot fiddle around by playing definitions off against each other; third, creating a robust European definition of tax havens with sanctions for those who use those havens; fourth, protecting whistle-blowers like Antoine Deltour who act in the public interest; fifth, ensuring tax advisers provide a clean service that does not involve conflicts of interest; and finally, making sure countries share information properly and quickly about sweetheart deals concluded with multinationals.

I am particularly pleased to see these measures command support across all of the parties – certainly all of the Groups – within this House. In fact, when it comes to country-by-country reporting for multinationals and making that public, Parliament has already shown its support – emphatically – and I am very pleased that it looks like we will be doing that again in the days to come. The same applies when it comes to measures within this report to protect whistle-blowers, where it is excellent to see so much agreement within this House.

However, I have to say that I have been disappointed before and I was disappointed again today – although sadly there appear to be no UK Conservatives left in the Chamber at the moment – that they continue to be against the consensus of this Parliament for European action against tax dodging. In 2013 David Cameron said that when taxes are not collected, the poor suffer, but his measures have been described by Conservative peers themselves as purely political gestures. I would hope they might have changed their tune, and I will continue to lobby for them to change their tune before the vote on this report.


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