MEP calls for firm action in wake of Luxemburg tax avoidance scandal

Green MEP Molly Scott Cato is calling on the European Council and Commission to take swift and decisive action in the wake of revelations that Luxembourg has been facilitating millions of pounds in tax evasion by multinationals. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was Luxemburg’s finance minister and then prime minister throughout this period.

Dr Scott Cato, who sits on the European Parliament’s Economics Committee and leads on tax policy for the Green Group, believes this is a historic moment for the fight against corporate tax dodging. She said:

“This tax avoidance probably amounts to hundreds of billion of Euros lost annually. This is a critical moment to galvanise the fight against tax evasion in Europe and beyond and the Commission must now set out a comprehensive plan of action. As Greens, we call for an extension of country-by-country tax reporting to all sectors, not just banks. We also need to see competition policy and EU state aid rules used to their full potential to crack down on tax dumping.”

Greens in Europe believe tax is a fundamental part of creating and living in a civilised society and have been at the forefront in fighting tax avoidance by individuals and corporations. They are also opposed to ‘tax shopping’, the practice of corporations seeking the lowest-tax territory, which puts pressure on governments to reduce their rates of corporate taxation.

“This constant downward pressure on tax yields undermines effective government and unpicks the public services that all Europe’s citizens depend on”, said Dr Scott Cato. She concluded:

 “As former president of Luxemburg, Juncker has some explaining to do. Only by firm action on multinational tax cheats can he dispel the doubts about his conflict of interest as Commission president.”