My vote against this report follows on similar votes on the same subject in past months. I fully understand the need to control the wide range of practices by which taxes are being evaded by individuals and companies, large and small, as revealed by Luxleaks and the Panama papers scandal. I support all measures meant to increase transparency in taxation affairs. But such measures should not end up infringing the existing right of EU member states to retain sovereignty over their tax systems. It seems to me that the proposals made in this report open the door fully to further follow-ups that can only lead to tax harmonisation within the EU. With this I cannot agree, for it would serve to increase the growing structural divergences between the central EU economy and the small peripheral economies of the Union. For these economies, taxation policy (which they still control) is the only real tool left by which to retain flexibility for competitive purposes. All others they have given up (customs protection, budgetary flexibility in public budgeting, the setting of VAT and excise, state aid policy, exchange rate). Moves towards harmonisation of income and profit taxes will only further undermine their competitiveness.

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