Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-05-21-Speech-2-018-000"

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"Mr President, well, there is a great degree of unity here this morning. A common enemy: rich people and successful companies evading tax, which is of course a problem – avoiding tax, which is not illegal but gives this whole Chamber this morning a high moral tone and, as Mr Barroso says, it is all about the perception of fairness. There is the added bonus, of course, that it drives a wedge between the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Caymans. But before we declare our virtues, perhaps we ought to look just a little bit closer to home, and I hope that the taxpayers all over Europe listen to this. If we look at the officials that work for the Commission and for Parliament, the highest category are people that earn a net take-home pay of just over GBP 100 000 a year and yet, under EU rules, they pay tax of 12%. It is tax fraud on an absolutely massive scale, and I would say to Mr Barroso: how can that be deemed to be fair? How can people out there struggling – the 16 million unemployed in the eurozone – look at these institutions not only paying people vast sums of money but allowing them tax and, also of course, pension benefits on a scale not seen anywhere else in the world? So I suggest we have a bit less of this high moral tone. And what have these officials given us? Well they were the architects of the euro, which is a complete disaster. Their obsession with global warming, which chimes very strongly here, means we are despoiling our landscapes and seascapes with these disgusting wind turbines and driving up energy prices. But never let it be said that I cannot acknowledge success when I see it, and I am sure the citizens of Europe will all clap and cheer loudly that the grave mortal danger of olive oil in dipping bowls has been removed by the officials. Well done, everybody!"@en1

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