Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-228"

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". Mr President, I should like to add my own congratulations to those expressed to the rapporteur. Combating fiscal fraud has been an ongoing issue for the House for years, and unfortunately, despite numerous initiatives and comprehensive support from Parliament, the Commissioner still has little to show in the way of success – although this is urgently needed – because of blocking, to a greater or lesser extent, by the Member States. One would think that it would be in the interests of the Member States to make progress on fighting fiscal fraud, given that we are talking about recouping a figure in excess of EUR 200 billion a year – in other words, more than the EU budget – without any need to raise tax rates for honest taxpayers. In any discussion of this issue, then, it is essential to underline that some of the responsibility lies with the Member States themselves. The adoption of the report proved rather difficult, for problems initially arose with one particular issue in committee, but this matter has now been resolved. Mrs Bowles showed a great deal of willingness to cooperate. From our perspective, this was a difficult report because it has involved one amendment which we cannot support. Even now, there are proposals to squeeze the very last drop out of the taxpayer and tax sources. Whether this is a sensible option or will simply lead to new offences remains to be seen. Above all, Amendment 4, which was proposed by two of our fellow Members from the Socialist Group and is aimed at the repeal of the Savings Taxation Directive, is not something that we can support. This, then, is our position: we fully support Mrs Bowles’ report in all other respects, but if Amendment 4 on the abolition of the Savings Taxation Directive gains a majority, we will reject the report in its entirety."@en1

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