Brian Hayes MEP

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Postponement of FTT proof that large-scale EU tax harmonisation is not working – Hayes

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Postponement of FTT proof that large-scale EU tax harmonisation is not working – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today (Wednesday) said that this week’s decision to further postpone negotiations on the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) under enhanced cooperation shows the deficiencies of the EU tax harmonisation agenda.

Hayes Screengrab

“This week the 10 countries who have signed up to an FTT under enhanced cooperation postponed their negotiations once again. This is the third time that negotiations have been cancelled in three months.

“It just shows that Ireland was absolutely correct not to sign up to the FTT plan. The hesitation from the 10 Member States shows that large scale tax harmonisation in the EU is not working and not particularly wanted.

“The debate on the Common Consolidate Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) may face similar problems if it goes down the route of large-scale harmonisation. The majority of Member States do not want this one-size-fits-all approach to tax in the EU.

“Regardless of the delays, there are many concerns about the enhanced cooperation arrangement from an Irish perspective. There could be an impact on the Irish sovereign debt market and an impact on the liquidity of the financial sector as a whole.

“It is crucially important that the EU should let the negotiations on Brexit proceed and take stock of the consequences of the UK’s exit before going full steam ahead with any grand tax plans.

“If Ireland were to participate in an FTT, we would have to abolish our stamp duty on shares in Irish incorporated companies, which is 1%. This yields almost half a billion euro every year. The Commission’s FTT plan imposes just a 0.1% tax on shares so we could potentially face a loss to the Irish exchequer if we signed up to the plan.”

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