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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

City Euro-MP backs EU plan to close tax havens

LONDON MEP Jean Lambert has called on EU leaders to adopt a common strategy for closing tax havens which are costing European taxpayers almost a trillion pounds a year.

The Green MEP said they should adopt a European Commission proposal to adopt a common definition of tax havens, blacklist these havens and revise tax agreements with all non-EU states.

Ms Lambert, speaking after a debate on stamping out tax avoidance, said: “Adopting a common strategy to deal with international loopholes and tax havens must be an absolute priority for David Cameron.

“Instead of trying to save public money by privatising public services and shaving the benefits bill he should be concentrating on making sure profitable corporations pay their fair share towards the exchequer.

“The European Commission has set out ways in which this can be done – international co-operation at EU level is the only realistic way to achieve this and I hope he follows the EU proposals quickly.”

The Greens also called for a common EU approach for addressing the harmful effects of tax evasion in the developing world, and more transparency in the often-murky world of offshore investments and overseas ownership of companies operating anywhere in the EU.