Statement of Commissioner Šemeta on the Annual Growth Survey 2013
Commissioner Semeta said "For quality taxation, I urge Member States to place greater focus on 2 core principles: competitiveness and fairness. These should be the bedrock upon which all tax policies lie.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The central role of taxation in the EU's economic recovery is well established.
We know that our consolidation and growth agenda relies on quality revenues.
And that these, in turn, rely on smart tax policies.
This time last year, I set out 5 key objectives for Member States' tax systems, to underpin sustainable growth and successful consolidation.
These objectives served as the basis for the country specific recommendations adopted in June.
To briefly recap, Member States should:
- Shift taxes away from labour
- Increase environmental taxation
- Broaden tax bases
- Reduce the debt bias
- And improve tax collection and compliance
I am pleased to say that these recommendations have been taken on board in many national tax reforms, albeit to varying degrees. However, the race is far from run. There is still a long way to go.
For example, our latest analysis shows that 1/3 of Member States could do more to shift taxes away from labour towards consumption, environment or property.
I fully appreciate that tax reforms – especially sustainable ones – do not happen overnight. They must be carefully devised and diligently implemented.
For that reason, I advocate today a consistent approach. The same 5 objectives should continue to guide Member States' tax policies, and be integrated more intensively into national reforms.