Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Direct EU Taxes?

Direct taxation has long been the desire of the EU, despite its political ramifications, which it readily acknowledges:
"EU bureaucrats, already braced for a massive backlash, have advised officials to avoid using the word “tax” because it would be “politically explosive”.
Too right it would be politically explosive. However yesterday the EU Commission still sought to continue to made its case for EU direct taxation, in relation to the budget negotiations for 2014-2020:

To this end, the Commission enumerates, in a non-exhaustive list, the following options for own resources that could be discussed:

  • taxation of the financial sector,

  • EU revenues from auctioning under the Emissions Trading System,

  • a EU charge related to air transport,

  • a EU value added tax,

  • a EU energy tax

  • a EU corporate income tax.

In a technical annex to the Communication, the advantages and disadvantages of each are listed. Most importantly, the future blend of own resources would be a replacement not an addition to the financing of the budget.

I suspect there's an element of sabre rattling here (the first one already seems to have been ruled out). The EU wants a 6% budget increase despite the budget cuts in the member states and is facing resistance. Putting forward proposals for direct taxation, which will be unpopular, looks like very much like a negotiating position for the budgetary increase discussions next year. The UK and Germany have indicated strongly that any form of direct taxation will be vetoed (although with the Cameron's Tories you can never be sure). So let the horse trading begin.

Suffice to say that should such a situation occur, and we all know the EU will return again and again with such demands ad infinitum, then a significant and important line would have been crossed. No longer would my campaign only take on the form of blogging, standing in elections, etc, but a willingness to avoid such taxes (however difficult that proves to be) whatever the consequences.

Update: There's a petition against direct EU taxation here:

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