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Van Rompuy urges action on tax

Van Rompuy urges action on tax
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European Council President Herman van Rompuy says the EU must get tougher on tax if governments are to succeed in balancing their books.

He has promised that a May summit would focus on tax havens and banking secrecy.

“Every year, around one trillion Euro is lost in EU member states because of tax evasion and tax avoidance,” said Van Rompuy in a video message released by his office.

“It’s about the same as the EU’s budget for the full seven years ahead. And it’s 100 times more than the loan that was recently agreed for Cyprus.”

But that call looks to going unheard in Vienna.

Austria has defied EU demands to soften its stance on banking secrecy.

The Austrian government has also taken a swipe at the UK, pointing to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man as examples of ‘tax haven’ hypocrisy.