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The European Commission has announced the re-introduction of a VAT threshold for e-commerce businesses operating across the EU. The new threshold has been set at €10,000 (£8,400), 90% lower than the UK’s £83,000 (€99,000) threshold.

A new VAT system, levied on where customers rather than suppliers are based, was introduced on January 1st 2015 to prevent aggressive tax avoidance. However, the system did not accommodate the varying VAT thresholds in EU countries, causing some British small and micro businesses to suddenly find themselves subject to VAT for the first time.

The new threshold will pull many SMEs who do limited trading across the EU out of the VATMOSS system, however the threshold is not due to come into force until 2018 for e-services and 2021 for online goods, leaving many UK businesses unable or unwilling to operate across EU borders.

Anneliese Dodds MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on taxation, said:

“I have been calling for a VAT threshold because it will provide reassurance to many small businesses that they can continue to trade across Europe without fear of accidentally evading tax. The VAT announcement should have been something for businesses and stakeholders to welcome, but the delay in implementation is unacceptable, and leaves many small businesses in exactly the same position.”

“These new regulations will affect all businesses that trade across the European Union, and will affect Britain after Brexit, whatever our relationship with the EU, whether we’re in the Single Market or not, and members of the Customs Union or not.

“The government needs to use its influence now, while it can, to bring forward the implementation of the threshold and to raise the threshold level.”

Ms Dodds added:

“I am frustrated that the Commission has allowed many of these businesses to sit in such uncertainty for nearly two full years, and that the threshold could take a further four years to be implemented.

“Labour MEPs have been calling for a threshold to be introduced throughout this process and I do not understand why there has been such a long delay in its introduction. It is also at a much lower level than the UK rate, which will cause some continued administrative pressures for small businesses trading across Europe.

“The Commission and UK government must work together proactively, now and during Brexit negotiations, to establish easy access for the many small businesses that want to trade with their European partners.”

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Labour MEPs: UK must work with Commission to secure faster, higher VAT threshold for SMEs

The European Commission has announced the re-introduction of a VAT threshold for e-commerce businesses operating across the EU. The new threshold has been set at €10,000 (£8,400), 90% lower than...

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Labour MEPs have welcomed new Labour MEP for the East of England, Alex Mayer, who formally took up the role this week, following the resignation of Richard Howitt.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's Leader in the European Parliament, said:

"It is great to have Alex joining the team, and we look forward to working with her. Over the coming two years, Labour MEPs will have a crucial role to play in holding the government to account on Brexit, to ensure Britain gets the best possible outcome.

"Alex will be a great asset to the EPLP. She will represent her constituents in the East of England and make sure their views are heard in the European Parliament."

Alex Mayer MEP added:

"It is an honour and privilege to become the Labour MEP for the East of England. Though it may seem like a strange time to be entering the European Parliament after the Brexit vote, there is much to be done.

"I will work tirelessly to get the best deal we can for my constituents in the East of England, and be their voice in Brussels - particularly when it comes to protecting jobs, the economy and living standards."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Labour MEPs welcome new East of England MEP Alex Mayer

Labour MEPs have welcomed new Labour MEP for the East of England, Alex Mayer, who formally took up the role this week, following the resignation of Richard Howitt.

Read more

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The European Commission today vowed to investigate the flexible working conditions at McDonald’s restaurants throughout the EU, following a successful petition from British trade unions, backed by Labour MEPs.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour’s Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“Theresa May says workers’ rights are safe with her and will be safe after Brexit - well, now we will see. We will see if the UK government backs any proposals from the Commission to tackle abusive zero-hour contracts to give workers more financial stability and security, and we will see if they keep any new EU laws after Brexit.

“Labour MEPs have long been pushing for EU action on exploitative zero-hours contracts which prevent people from having any form of financial security. It is completely unfair that some employees don't know how much they will get from week to week - they don't have zero rent, they still have to put food on the table for their kids.

“People cannot be expected to put their life on hold on the off-chance they are offered work, which they desperately need. It is deplorable that workers can have their shifts cancelled at the last minute, or even be sent home after turning up for their shift.”

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, member of the European Parliament petitions committee, added:

“Today we heard the voices of McDonald's workers from Britain, France and Belgium employed on precarious employment contracts. The Commission has made clear that workers employed on zero-hours contracts should have full employment rights as a result of EU law on part-time workers, and that there is a need to investigate the legality of flexi-jobs under EU law.

“These types of contracts are pernicious. For example, workers’ basic rights are withheld, with no maternity leave, paid holiday or redundancy given. We need to build a Europe-wide picture of precarious employment so we can understand its impact.

“We have proposed an impact study of insecure employment in all EU countries to get a better picture and we will write to McDonald's to demand an end to these forms of employment in their stores.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

UK must back EU action on zero-hours contracts and keep any new laws after Brexit, warn Labour MEPs

The European Commission today vowed to investigate the flexible working conditions at McDonald’s restaurants throughout the EU, following a successful petition from British trade unions, backed by Labour MEPs.

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