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European Parliament must set up a committee of inquiry on tax avoidance

Added 02 Dec 2014
Eurodad / Tax Justice Europe 

Media Statement, 1st December 2014

MEPs must give their support to a letter being circulated to set up a committee of inquiry in the wake of the “Luxembourg leaks” scandal. The committee would investigate tax avoidance by corporations and tax laws and rulings in EU member states, European civil society organisations said today.

More than 30 organisations from the Tax Justice Europe network have written to members of the European Parliament strongly supporting a proposal from Green MEPs for a stand alone investigative committee of the European Parliament, as part of a coordinated response to corporate tax avoidance across the European Union.

“The Luxembourg leaks scandal has shown that multinational companies are exploiting Europe’s tax rules to avoid billions of euros in tax, and that certain governments are making it easy for them,” said Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Justice Coordinator for the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad). “Strong and urgent action is essential because the public is furious that in difficult economic times, big companies are getting away with tax abuse on an industrial scale.”

Like Europe, developing countries lose billions of euros each year to tax dodging by multinational companies, some of which shift their profits through EU member state jurisdictions in order to avoid tax in poorer countries.

“The European Parliament must use every means at its disposal to curb this industrial scale abuse, starting with a strong and well-resourced committee of inquiry. Any weaker measures, such as an initiative report by an existing committee, could look like a watering-down of Parliament’s response to this massive problem”, added Ryding.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager at Eurodad, on jravenscroft@eurodad.org or +32 2 893 0854.

Notes to editors: 
•Tax Justice Europe is the regional member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. Eurodad is one of two organisations representing Tax Justice Europe in the Coordinating Committee of the Global Alliance.