The House of Commons decided, yesterday, pursuant to Article 6 of Protocol (No 2) on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality, to send to the Presidents of the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission a Reasoned Opinion stating that the draft Directive on a common consolidated corporate tax base does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity.
During the debate Bill Cash made the following interventions:
The European Commission has been attempting, for a long time, to introduce a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). Several Member States such as the UK and Ireland have been showing their opposition to such a proposal. However, the economic crisis has been used as an excuse to harmoniseMember States taxation policies. Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel agreed that steps towards political integration, including the harmonisation of tax and labour policies should be taken. Germany Sarkozy and Merkel have called, in their competitiveness pact, for creation of a single company tax regime. The eurozone leaders, in their Euro Pact, indicated their intent to develop a common corporate tax base, which “could be a revenue neutral way forward to ensure consistency among national tax systems while respecting national tax strategies and to contribute to fiscal sustainability and the competitiveness of European businesses.” As expected, on 16 March, the Commission proposed a draft Council Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB).
The proposal is based on Article 115 TFEU and it is, therefore, subject to the consultation procedure and unanimity is required amongst Member States. It would be difficult for Brussels to reach unanimity. Ireland believes that the CCCTB represents a first step towards European tax harmonization. Several Member States, such as the UK, Czech Republic and Slovakia are opposed, in principle, to the proposal. Nevertheless, it is already known if there is no unanimity, the CCCTB would be pursued by the “enhanced co-operation” The EU Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Šemeta, has already announced, if a unanimous agreement cannot be reached at the Council, he will present the proposal under “enhanced cooperation.”