Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-14-Speech-1-108"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we can to some extent agree on one thing: the present situation in the EU, where there are 27 different tax systems operating alongside one another in an integrated single market with completely free movement of capital, is fatally flawed. This is where unity really comes to an end. Tax competition is tax dumping for the rich and the powerful and only imposes a greater tax burden on the shoulders of normal earners and consumers. It is hardly surprising that this situation is particularly pleasing to the property owners and big companies. What is really astonishing and alarming, however, is that this reality is still being talked up here in this House, which should really be representing the interests of more than just the elite few. In spite of all its nuances and nuanced assessments, the Kauppi report is still just a typical piece of spin. That goes for the position being adopted on the alleged positive impact of tax competition just as much as for the manner in which it deals with the actual subject matter, namely the tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations. It is an open secret that companies regularly use cross-border loss relief to reduce their tax bill by moving their profits to low-tax zones and low-tax countries. They are very successful in doing this, as the statistics show: such virtual loss offsetting has in fact meant that over the last 20 years the amount of tax paid on the profits made by the multinationals has fallen continuously. The rulings of the European Court of Justice have only served to make this tax arrangement easier and have therefore intruded massively into the fiscal sovereignty of the Member States. All this simply fuels the race to dump corporate tax. Those who support this development clearly want to see a Europe in which untold wealth is able to accumulate at the top of the pile, while down at the bottom poverty levels increase and the former middle classes have to survive on incomes that are falling in real terms. We want to see a different Europe and we want a socially just taxation policy. For this reason our Group will be rejecting the present report."@en1

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