Conservatives MEPs support strong action on tax avoidance

Conservatives in the European Parliament have backed proposals which will help tackle corporate tax avoidance by multi-national firms.

These legislative plans, put forward by the British EU Commissioner Lord Hill, would force multi-national companies to publicly report their tax dealings on a country-by-country basis. It also ensures a level playing field within the Single Market by removing the unfair tax advantages which are available to large corporations, but not on offer to smaller European businesses.

Conservative MEPs also opposed a politically motivated amendment backed by Labour which sought to add public tax reporting to separate piece of legislation considered by the European Parliament.

Following the vote Richard Ashworth, Conservative MEP for South East England, said: “Large multi-national corporations operating in Europe should pay the same tax and face the same rules which small businesses in the South East have to comply with. Ensuring a level playing field within the EU Single Market in terms of taxation is beneficial for British businesses.”

“By remaining within the EU the UK can be part of broader cooperation with our neighbours to clampdown on aggressive corporate tax avoidance by multi-national companies.”

“I opposed the Labour-backed amendment as placing this politically motivated text within a piece of technical legislation is inappropriate and cheap opportunism. Conservatives in the European Parliament are committed to creating good legislation that will tackle tax avoidance, not empty political gestures.”

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