Balz criticises Danish, Slovenian and Bulgarian governments for lack of collaboration

An "urgent need for action on the side of the Member States". This is what Burkhard Balz MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament's special committee which looks into the controversial tax practices of big multi-national companies, said today.

"Member States must move and work together if they want to stop losing tax revenue", he said ahead of the parliamentary hearing with the Finance Ministers of Germany (Wolfgang Schäuble), France (Michel Sapin), Italy (Pier Carlo Padoan) and Spain (Luis de Guindos).

"The possibility to avoid taxes results from the simple fact that national tax systems are so different. Since every Member State has different tax bases, tax rates, tax exceptions and tax incentives, some companies simply shift different parts of their economic activity to different countries optimising their taxes. The practice to use these loopholes is legal, but unfair", Balz explained.

Governments which are not ready to provide us with information about their tax practices either have something to hide, are not interested in tackling the problem or both. Burkhard Balz MEP

Balz called for a common consolidated corporate tax base in Europe: "I am against unifying the tax rates, but what exactly is taxed and where, this should be harmonised."

He also criticised the Danish, Slovenian and Bulgarian governments, which did not collaborate with the special committee set up after the so-called Lux Leaks scandal. "Governments which are not ready to provide us with information about their tax practices either have something to hide, are not interested in tackling the problem or both", he concluded.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

Other related content