The EU’s harrassment of Switzerland covered here and here, because it refuses to stop offering low personal and business tax rates, is put into context today with the news Brussels is dusting off old plans to introduce a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) across member states.
Not content with its objective of directly charging VAT on our purchases instead of letting member states collect the money and pass it on to Brussels, the EU now wants to set a common minimum rate of corporation tax to prevent countries such as Ireland setting competitive rates to attract business to its shores.
The pressure being applied to Switzerland is a concerted effort by the EU to eradicate a ‘local’ tax competitor that could host companies desperate to avoid the EU’s elevated minimum tax rates in a geographically convenient location. The EU measure would spark a stampede of businesses to the cantons if the last democracy in western Europe doesn’t play ball. It’s a high stakes game worth billions of Euros.
The EU is a customs union with no interest in free trade or competition. A more accurate description for it would be a bullying, anti democratic tax union. The UK has no place being part of this destructive bureaucratic cabal. Ironically, on the day this news has come out the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, is saying the province’s corporation tax rate should be cut from 28% to attract business to the country – exactly what the EU is trying to put a stop to. Yet in another breath he will be telling us how beneficial our EU membership is. It is rank hypcorisy.
No doubt the proposal, which is being met with the usual initial resistance from France and Germany before being accepted by them wholesale after a few concessions, will have senior Conservative politicians sucking on their teeth, planting Eurosceptic sentiments with unthinking cut and paste merchants in the media and expressing anger at this unacceptable interference in British affairs – before meekly surrendering all competence to Brussels and declaring there was no alternative.
Costs will be driven up and consumers will find themselves paying more for goods and services, but the mass sleepwalk will continue as our media tows the party line in return for ‘access’ and fails the public by not exposing the real state of affairs that would have the people in rebellious mood.