Fine Gael Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes, has today (Friday), said that a Special Committee agreed by the European Parliament Presidency, should not have the power to interfere with the European Commission’s ongoing investigations into tax rulings of certain Member States, including Ireland.
“It is a good thing that we will not have a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on tax evasion. Such an inquiry could easily lead to a witch hunt against some Member States, including Ireland. The Presidency of the Parliament has agreed to set up a Special Committee, which is a sensible approach. This Committee will have a broad scope and will be forward looking, focusing on how all Member States can improve their tax ruling process.
“While both a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry and a Special Committee can obtain access to EU documents, a Special Committee does not have the same access rights to national documentation. This is important because the European Commission, which is working with national authorities, should be allowed to carry out its investigations on tax rulings without interference from a Parliamentary Inquiry.
“The Commission is expected to publish the findings of their investigation in the 2nd quarter of this year. Parliament should not overstep its boundaries on this issue. The Parliament’s legal service concluded that a Committee of Inquiry would pose a legal threat to the Commission’s investigations.”