Latest News

Ronald-McDonald-behind-bars-700x410.jpg

McDonalds yesterday announced plans to switch its non-US tax base to the UK in a move that could become an early warning sign of the UK becoming an offshore tax haven from the EU post-Brexit, Labour MEPs have warned.

The European Commission is currently investigating the tax practices of McDonalds in Luxembourg after it was alleged they avoided more than €1 billion in tax between 2009 and 2013, while the UK government has recently pledged to have the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20, meaning the rate could drop as low as 15 per cent if President-elect Donald Trump fulfils his own pledge to lower the US tax rate to 15%.

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

“If McDonalds are relocating their tax base to the UK in order to comply fully with the UK’s 20 per cent corporation tax rate, then we fully welcome their positive move. However, if this is speculation on the UK becoming a tax haven after Brexit, then we must ensure the government publishes any sweetheart tax deal agreed now or in the future.

“We have already seen the UK government continue its drive to levy the lowest possible corporation tax rate in a race to the bottom that shifts the tax burden onto those who can least afford it.

“We should be forcing companies like McDonalds to pay the full and fair tax rate, not legitimising their tax avoidance by lowering the rate to near 0%.

“This is at the same time as the government has failed to tackle burdens like high business rates, which are threatening many businesses' very viability - unlike corporation tax which applies only to profits.”

Ms Dodds added:

“Average corporation tax rates in Europe have halved since the 1980s and that trend is continuing with no sign of stopping. The UK government must reaffirm its commitment to its European partners that it will continue to work with them on fighting tax evasion and avoidance after Brexit.

“Tax avoidance has no border and it is impossible for the UK to tackle it alone.”

Friday, December 9, 2016

McDonald’s tax relocation: Brexit Britain must not become an offshore tax haven, warn Labour MEPs

McDonalds yesterday announced plans to switch its non-US tax base to the UK in a move that could become an early warning sign of the UK becoming an offshore tax...

Read more

VW-emissions-scandal-20-04-16-700x410.jpg

Labour MEPs have said today’s decision by the European Commission to begin infringement proceedings against seven countries – including the UK – over the dieselgate scandal shows that the best way to ensure British-made cars are clean is for Britain to continue to apply EU vehicle emissions legislation and uphold the highest environmental standards.

The Commission is taking action because the countries have failed to fulfil their obligations under EU vehicle type approval legislation by failing to set up penalties systems to deter car manufacturers from violating car emissions legislation, or not applying such sanctions where a breach of law has occurred.

Several manufacturers have used techniques to give lower emissions readings in lab tests than in real world driving, with VW forced to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles after it was revealed they had used sophisticated “defeat devices” to game emissions tests.

Seb Dance MEP, Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on the dieselgate scandal, said:

“National governments simply cannot be trusted to take action against their own national car industries, even where malpractice has clearly taken place. Dieselgate happened because of EU countries’ reluctance to properly enforce vehicle emissions legislation and failure to monitor compliance by car manufacturers.

“The Commission must now come forward with its promised interpretation guidelines on the use of defeat devices without delay so member states can take action on cars deemed to be in breach of the legislation. And if governments continue to stall, the Commission must hand down more infringement proceedings to ensure Europe’s cars are clean.”

Seb Dance MEP added:

“Today's action further highlights the need for enhanced European oversight of type approval and market surveillance, and shows that it is vital Britain continues to abide by strong EU environmental standards after Brexit and remains subject to EU oversight.

“The UK cannot enter into a race to the bottom on environmental laws, allowing companies to manufacture ever more polluting cars and exacerbating the air pollution crisis that is taking 50,000 British lives every year."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Labour MEPs: EU action on dieselgate scandal shows UK must not ditch vehicle emissions legislation

Labour MEPs have said today’s decision by the European Commission to begin infringement proceedings against seven countries – including the UK – over the dieselgate scandal shows that the best...

Read more

VAT-700x410.jpg

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...

Read more

More Stories >

As with most websites, we will place cookies on your computer to help make your visit to this site better.

Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.