Brown leads Europe tax debate

The chancellor has been a key player in directing the debate which began with proposals for a controversial withholding tax and last year resolved in a deal to introduce information exchange. The EC now wants to control negotiations with non-EU nations over how to implement the tax information exchange system.

But Brown, who is reported in the FT as saying it is ‘unacceptable for the Commission to have a mandate on taxatio’, would like an EU committee representing governments to run the discussions. He beleives bu using a committee of tax experts answerable to ministers, the rights of member states are guaranteed.

He is also expected to argue against further tax harmonisation of taxes on road fuels and on business use of energy believing Europe shoudld embrace economic freedom based on open markets, liberalisation and higher investment.

The monthly meeting of economic and finance ministers (Ecofin) comes just two days before the general election and Brown will be keen to demonstrate the UK is strong in Europe.


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