Quote for the day: tax ‘competition’

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etuc__clc__logo_re_cetaFrom the European Trade Unions Congress, a new resolution:

“Tax competition between nation states . . . is unhealthy for those states and for citizens who have to pay their taxes. Tax competition leads to reduced tax rates, exemptions, incentives (loopholes) and the reduction of effective tax rates for MNCs, rich people and for those states which were early starters in offering them. . . Taxation policy is a national competence and an area which is central to the sovereignty of EU Member States. This, however, does not prevent a certain degree of coordination to end the race towards the bottom.”

One of our core arguments is that, while co-ordination to address these issues is essential and welcome, unilateral leadership is also quite possible. Countries that don’t join in the race don’t, in general terms, tend to get penalised: quite the opposite, in many cases. Those that do, and particularly the larger ones, are being bamboozled into doing so. Breaking the prevalent false consciousness on this is an essential – and an eminently achievable task.



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