Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes has been appointed as substitute member of the Special Tax Committee established by the European Parliament today. Mr Hayes welcomed the terms of reference for the Parliament’s examination of Member States tax rulings, saying that the focus is rightly not directed at Ireland or other small countries.
“Today’s decision by Parliament will hopefully bring some certainty to an issue that has been highly politicised. The Committee will have a term of office of 6 months and will have 45 MEPs from different Member States.
“As part of these terms of reference, the Parliament is empowered to examine how Member States apply EU treaty rules concerning tax rulings and will look in particular at aggressive tax planning.
“I am determined that the Committee should not usurp the existing powers of the EU Commission in looking at State Aid rules on tax. In the current case before the Commission involving Ireland, it’s crucial that this investigation be determined as soon as possible.
“The Committee will analyse the European Commission’s practices around monitoring and assessing possible State Aid breaches to check that State aid procedures are compatible with the internal market and not misused.
“Various pieces of EU legislation are already in place, particularly around exchange of tax ruling information, and the Committee will take a close look at whether Member States are in compliance with such legal texts.
“Importantly, the Committee will have the power to make any recommendations that it deems necessary, however, it should be noted that such recommendations will be non-binding.”