Burkhard Balz MEP: The age of national egoism in tax policy must come to an end/Questions to Slovak authorities on murder of journalist Jan Kuciak
"Parliament’s new tax committee will look into Britain's post-Brexit role in tax competition. We will also again put disloyal tax schemes in certain EU Member States under the microscope. The aim of the new committee is to keep up pressure and make nation states understand that the age of national egoism in tax policy must come to an end", said Burkhard Balz MEP today, the EPP Group Spokesman on tax affairs.
Today at midday, the European Parliament will vote to set up a new special parliamentary committee investigating financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Since February 2015, the Parliament has already done extensive work on the so-called Lux Leaks revelations and Panama Papers and proposed a number of measures to stop unfair tax competition and tax crime. The new committee will continue this work.
We worry that Britain will try to become a tax haven right under Europe's nose. Burkhard Balz MEP
"Already now, British crown dependencies play a doubtful role in Europe's tax landscape. We worry that after Brexit, Britain will try to become a tax haven right under Europe's nose. The new committee will make suggestions for provisions in the Brexit Treaty to prevent this. We will invite Michel Barnier and the British Finance Minister Philip Hammond to discuss this", Balz announced.
At the same time, Balz expressed his "growing discomfort" for the role of certain EU Member States. "We can no longer avoid asking questions to half a dozen EU countries who have very questionable tax practices. If Europe wants to promote a fair tax policy internationally, we must first of all practice fairness inside Europe", Balz stressed.
He also announced that this week's murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak will be one of the topics in the committee. "Jan Kuciak, like Daphne Caruana Galizia, was investigating financial crimes and tax evasion. Considering suspicions that his murder was linked to his investigative work, it gives us a stark indication that some people are willing to go to any extreme to protect their financial practices. We will certainly be asking the Slovak authorities questions on the matters Mr Kuciak was investigating", Balz said.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States