Extracts from the joint press conference by Algirdas Šemeta and László Andor on the 2013 Annual Growth Survey

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-075456   Duration: 10:03:52  Lieu:
End production: 28/11/2012   First transmission: 28/11/2012
On 28 November 2012, László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, gave a joint press conference, following the adoption by the EC of the 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), which sets out five priorities designed to guide Member States through the crisis to renewed growth. The AGS kick-starts the European Semester for economic policy coordination, which ensures Member States align their budgetary and economic plans with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy.

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10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 General view of the press conference 00:00:05
10:00:10 Soundbite by László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (in ENGLISH): Every month of 2012 we have seen increases in the number of unemployed people, and today we are at about 26 million. The differences between Member States are growing. Unemployment in Austria is at 4.4%, while in Spain it's nearly 26%. The high unemployment situation only partly originates in the functioning of the labour market. Some structural problems are well known, like segmentation of the labour market between very different types of work contracts, or the weak links between the worlds of education and work, or the lack of investment in re-skilling for adult workers. 00:00:43
10:00:54 Cutaway of a journalist 00:00:04
10:00:59 Soundbite by László Andor (in ENGLISH): we need to boost job creation and the demand for labour. Taxation on labour is still too high, especially on low-paid workers, and we need greater shift to other sources of taxation, such as pollution or property. More also needs to be done to exploit the job creating potential of the Single Market and of rising sectors such as the green economy, ICT, health and care. 00:00:28
10:01:27 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:01:31 Soundbite by László Andor (in ENGLISH): we need to fight long-term unemployment. Out of the 26 million unemployed people in the EU, 11 million have been unemployed for more than a year. We must strengthen investment in employment services and active labour market policies. And these measures must become stronger, with targeted hiring subsidies, individual job-seeking support, and training and retraining, if possible combined with work experience. 00:00:30
10:02:02 General view of the press conference 00:00:03
10:02:05 Soundbite by Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud (in ENGLISH): 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. 00:00:25
10:02:30 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
10:02:36 Soundbite by Algirdas Šemeta (in ENGLISH): Added to this, I would urge Member States to place greater focus on 2 core principles for quality taxation: competitiveness and fairness. These should be the bedrock upon which all tax policies lie. What makes a tax system competitive? Not the tax rate alone, as is sometimes believed. Equally important are the ease of compliance, the level of administrative burden and the stability of the system. 00:00:36
10:03:12 Cutaway of the participants 00:00:04
10:03:17 Soundbite by Algirdas Šemeta (in ENGLISH): I look forward to presenting, next week, a package of measures aimed at strengthening the common stance against tax evasion, tax havens and aggressive tax planning. I also hope to see quick progress in authorising the financial transactions tax to move ahead under enhanced cooperation. The FTT is the epitome of fair taxation, as it would ensure the financial sector makes an equitable contribution to public finances. Eleven Member States are ready to move ahead with it. 00:00:35
10:03:52 General view of the press conference 00:00:05
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