Cameron’s MEPs vote against reforms to clamp down on tax dodgers

David Cameron's MEPs last night voted against proposals to crack down on "those seeking to hide their money from the tax authorities" - tax dodgers.

David Cameron’s MEPs last night voted against proposals to crack down on “those seeking to hide their money from the tax authorities” – tax dodgers.

In voting against the Domenici report on “Promoting Good Governance in Tax Matters 2009/2174(INI)”, Cameron’s MEPs sought to prevent the automatic exchange of tax information across borders.

The motion, however, was passed overwhelmingly – 553:93 (pp. 43-44).

The only opposition came from Cameron’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, UKIP’s Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group, the Non-Inscrits (NI) – which includes the BNP’s Nick Griffin – nine members of the European People’s Party (EPP) group and a lone Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) MEP, Robert Goebbels.

The overall report on good governance, again opposed by Cameron’s MEP’s and their allies, was passed 554:46 (pp. 55-56).

In addition to cracking down on tax dodgers the report seeks to:

• Develop a co-ordinated strategy to improve the fight against fiscal fraud;

• Improve international cooperation within the EU and at international level in order to ensure that it is effective;

• Clamp down on multinational companies’ ability to make extensive use of tax havens and offshore centres as part of their tax avoidance strategies;

Take decisive, effective and consistent action to deal with tax havens;

• Put an end to the use of artificial legal persons as a way to avoid taxation;

• Deal with the problem of bank secrecy, enabling the automatic exchange of information in all circumstances;

• Require companies to disclose in their annual accounts, on a country-by-country basis, accounting information relating to tax havens;

• Avoid the creation of further legal loopholes open to abuse; and

• Ensure consistency in the implementation at EU and international level of standards in the areas of prudential supervision, taxation and money laundering and counterterrorism.

As well as voting against them in yesterday’s full plenerary session, Cameron’s MEPs had earlier sought to water down the above proposals in committee.

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