Tuesday 10 December 2019

The Netherlands is a tax haven alongside Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, say MEPs

Photo: Joep Poulssen

Members of the European parliament have voted to include the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus on the official EU tax haven black list.

However the motion, proposed by Dutch Labour MEP Paul Tang, will not have any affect on the listing because members states have to unanimously approve every inclusion, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

The official EU blacklist of places considered to facilitate tax evasion now comprises 15 countries, after 10, including Aruba, were added earlier this month. However, Tang said this did not go far enough, and referred to research last year by the European Commission which said the Netherlands cooperated with ‘aggressive tax planning’.

Tang’s motion was passed by 408 to 205.

Dutch junior finance minister Menno Snel said in a reaction that he was astonished by the vote. ‘The Netherlands has a leading position in the battle against international tax evasion,’ he told the FD.

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