Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2017-02-14-Speech-2-525-000"

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"Mr President, I fully supported this report on whistle—blowers and the protection of the EU’s financial interests. In fact I personally know a whistle—blower who has lost his livelihood through exposing a scheme where there is significant over—claiming of VAT under the EU flat—rate VAT scheme in Ireland. We know that this has been happening in the poultry sector – or part of it – for over 10 years and of course a relevant question now is whether there is any similar scheme in other sectors. On foot of a complaint made by the whistle—blower and myself to the Commission, Ireland has amended its legislation to allow the Minister for Finance to stop this practice. However, it is quite clear that there is significant foot-dragging in dealing with this issue. This means that those who are benefiting from over—claiming VAT will continue to do so, while those who do not overclaim VAT will be at a hugely significant competitive disadvantage, both in the poultry sector and in other sectors – beef, lamb, pigs, etc. I believe there is a golden circle in certain agricultural sectors where some over—claim flat—rate VAT to the detriment of other farmers and processors who are outside that circle. In fact I am referring the case to Commissioner Vestager to investigate whether this is a case of illegal state aid."@en1

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