Monday, December 10, 2012

The EU - Where nation may take pecuniary advantage from nation

In London, at a recent meeting of the House of Commons, the Public Accounts Committee of British MPs feigned shock and horror when it was publicly revealed that the Giant US multinational corporation so-reputed “Fair Trade" coffee marketing conglomerate, Starbucks, had been paying a 6% royalty on all its UK sales to the Netherlands.

Worse still it appeared that it was all under the terms of an arrangement, the details of which were to be kept secret, this being done apparently at the specific request of the Dutch taxation authorities.

Matters deteriorated further when details of how the huge online marketer almost a "virtual mammoth department store", Amazon Co.UK, had been constructed to feed the large UK market, to all intents and purposes, supposedly largely taking place in the "Dodgy" of Luxembourg, at least as far as the apparently innumerate apparatchiks of the British Government’s tax collectors, HMRC, were concerned. Details of these arrangements with the tiny Duchy of Luxembourg began to only gradually and with great difficulty emerge before this same group of MPs.

Now it has long been the premise of my blog, Ironies Too, (and before that its predecessor, Ironies), that the aim of the EU was to first strip the UK bare of assets and revenues before then turning upon France, which country up to this point had been happy amongst the pack of hunters and strippers, or moochers and looters as the perceptive, Ayn Rand, would have so described them.

Yesterday it seemed that such event was indeed about to occur with the Hollande Government, (apparently even joined by support from the right of the French political divide) taking fright at other Luxembourg connections, as reported by Reuters. This may be read, I trust, with all due astonishment, as it appears to hint at the destruction of one of the foundation stones of all our liberties, ie: property rights, from here. 

A few quotes will give a flavour of the extraordinary implications of the causes of the dispute now underway, which to this observer reader imply that neither the French nor the authorities of the Grand Duchy seem to have been paying anything other than lip service to the grand intents of the European Treaties, which they have blithely signed over recent decades.

"This declaration is purely and simply scandalous," Parisot told RTL radio. "To undermine the principle of private property in this haphazard way is very serious and, what's more, very costly."

"I would have liked it if she used that word ('scandalous') when the owner of this site was transferring a chunk of profits from French sites over our borders, notably to Luxembourg," Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac said.

Now the seventeen former nations of the Euro Group plan to merge themselves under a single banking supervisor as if mutual trust had succeeded in replacing centuries of suspicion that occasionally and too often gave way to shared loathing. We will await these negotiations with interest - but it seems if they cannot openly discuss their tax arrangements with common companies operating in both their territories after sixty odd years of close economic alliance, there is only a small chance of success.

(The above posting was prepared for and first published by International Business Times on 5th December, under the title "Starbucks, Tax Avoidance and the Eurozones's Dirty Little Secrets" as may be found on this link. The article text was unchanged.)


Post a Comment

<< Home