Brian Hayes MEP

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‘Lux Leaks’ Committee of Inquiry should not be a witch hunt against some countries – Hayes

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Following a call by more than 25% of MEPs for a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into tax ruling practices, Brian Hayes MEP and ECON Committee member today (Thursday) said that such a Committee of Inquiry must not be a witch hunt against some Member States.

“If a Committee of Inquiry is to go ahead, the terms of reference must be fair and balanced. This cannot be a witch hunt against some Member States – tax rulings in all Member States must be investigated fully to identify any unfair tax advantages,” said Mr. Hayes.

“I welcome Commissioner Vestager’s decision in December to extend the enquiry of tax rulings to cover all EU Member States. We need a full picture of tax practices throughout the EU and there has to be a level playing field between small Member States and large Member States.”

“If a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry is to be taken seriously, I believe that the European Commission should be allowed to complete its investigation of State Aid cases without undue interference from such an inquiry. If community law has been broken that’s a matter for the Commission in the first instance and then for the European courts.”

Brian Hayes MEP concluded by saying: “A parliamentary Committee of Inquiry must first be approved by the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents and then it would be put to a vote before MEPs. Speaking with EPP ECON colleagues in Strasbourg this morning I have received agreement that the terms of reference for this inquiry must not be country specific. That will be the EPP negotiation position.”

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