Tory and UKIP MEPS vote AGAINST proposals to crack down on tax dodging

Claims to be in favour of stamping out immoral tax practices were shown to be little more than lip service


On Wednesday, Conservative and UKIP MEPs voted against proposals in the European Parliament which were aimed at making the tax system fairer, including cracking down on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

In its Annual Tax Report, the European Parliament proposed concrete measures to tackle immoral tax practices, including making companies report where they make their profits and where they pay their taxes. It also proposed an agreed Europe-wide definition of tax havens that would allow tax dodgers to be named and shamed.

The report was passed by a cross-party selection of MEPs by 444 votes to 110, with 41 abstensions.

Anneliese Dodds MEP, member of the European Parliament economic and monetary affairs committee, and Socialists & Democrats Group co-rapporteur of the parliament’s legislative initiative report on tax avoidance, said:

 “Yet again, the Tories and UKIP have shown whose side they are really on. They talk the talk about cracking down on tax fiddling, but when the time comes for action they vote in favour of more secrecy and more inequality.

 “The proposals in the Annual Tax Report are about making society fairer, and giving small businesses a chance, about stopping the situation where a family-run business in the UK dutifully pays the right rate of corporation tax, while a large multinational corporation negotiates a sweetheart deal to reduce its tax rate to almost zero.

 “It’s clear from today’s vote that the Tories and UKIP are once again on the side of vested interests against the interests of working people.”

The report recommends that the European Commission should prepare a blacklist, before July 2015, of tax havens and countries whose tax practices distort competition. It also suggests suspending or revoking the banking or advisory licences of accountants, law firms and other financial advisors convicted of tax fraud, and improving transparency around tax rulings which create opportunities for tax avoidance.

In November, deputy UKIP leader Paul Nuttall launched a strongly worded attack on the President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker over the issue of tax avoidance.

“Now, let’s get to the rub of it. The definition of hypocrisy according in the Oxford English dictionary is the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more normal beliefs than is the case.

“And I don’t think anyone in this chamber could disagree with me today when I say this perfectly sums up the position of the President of the European Commission here today.

“Under his tenure Luxembourg was a “magical fairy land” for multinational corporations where tax rates were as little as one percent paid on profits.”

The accusations of hypocrisy from UKIP take on an interesting colour after Wednesday’s developments in Brussels.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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20 Responses to “Tory and UKIP MEPS vote AGAINST proposals to crack down on tax dodging”

  1. Chris Kitcher

    UKIP and Tories have no intention of attacking the hands that finance them. How can anyone be fooled into thinking that they are there to look after ordinary people?

  2. Keith M

    Get real – would you bite the hand that feeds you?

  3. Jack

    Strangely, Ms Stockham, you don’t report that Alfred Sant, former Labour PM of Malta, abstained from the vote, because he too had objections to it. I assume you were aware of this, it was widely reported.

  4. Leon Wolfeson

    Also, water is wet.

  5. JoeDM

    It is the responsibility of the national Government to set tax policy not the EU !!!!

    Well done the Tories and UKIP for standing up to the EU.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    Yea, how dare they not support your hiding your tax, as you celebrate how you leech off the British, with the excuse of the EU.

    Anything but pay tax.

  7. Luke Styles

    It’s a world wide problem that can only be sorted by countries co-operating together. We can’t turn the clock back to the 30’s

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    Remember, he’s against countries cooperating with other in organisations like the EU.
    In fact, he’s against paying tax generally.

  9. Luke Styles

    Shock horror. Ex-PM of a tax haven doesn’t like it.

  10. sarntcrip


  11. soundchaser

    This vote was nothing to do with tax evasion as far as UKIP were concerned, it was about the EU incrementally removing Britains ability to govern itself.
    This accusation of hypocrisy is rather naive at best.

  12. Leon Wolfeson

    No no, of course not. Keep making excuses, hypocrite.

  13. Dom

    If only there were a fourth English party who oppose tax dodging which the British people could vote for in protest to all this nonsense… alternatively we could keep complaining about these three til we’re Green in the face….

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    Protest votes under FPTP are a waste of time.

    Campaigning for voting reform is what’s worthwhile.

  15. Keith M

    Did you really expect them to?

  16. Robert Robson

    Pathetic. If you have to allude to Hitler in an argument, and associate the opposition to supranational government with Nazism, you’ve lost.

  17. Luke Styles

    I am well aware of Godwin’s Law. I never mentioned Hitler or the Nazis. I did not pick the 30’s because of Hitler. I suppose I might have picked them because labour have accused the tories of 1930’s spending plans. However what is pathetic is criticizing me for something I did not mean without actually commenting on the actual topic.

  18. northwing

    Surprise, surprise, Tories in favour of tough measures to combat crime- as long as it isn’t rich people’s crime.

  19. royaljester

    Once again UKIP’s policies have been taken out of text! UKIP stands for reducing the taxes for low to average paid workers which is highly commendable. There are grey waters when it comes to the higher sector – do we tax the more wealthy people a lot more so that they will withdraw their trading from the UK in favour of a more tax favourable country? Or do we relax the taxes that businessmen pay so that they will be more inclined to deal within the UK and invest in the UK?

  20. Ron Carr

    Yeah, they’re called the Greens.

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