The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution in support of a minimum corporate tax, and called on Hungary to “immediately end its blockage” of the measure.
In the resolution adopted with 450 votes in favor, 132 against, and 55 abstentions, MEPs said “EU and global tax rules are outdated for dealing with the modern-day economy, since they allow for significant tax evasion and tax avoidance, lead to unacceptable competitive advantages for multinationals over SMEs, and undermine the EU single market.”
The resolution said Hungary’s “reported demands” had been largely taken into consideration in the international agreement, and urged the Commission and member states to “refrain from approving Hungary’s national recovery and resilience plan unless all the criteria are fully complied with.”
If Hungary maintains its veto, “MEPs say alternative options should be explored to honor the EU’s commitments, including the possible use of ‘enhanced cooperation,'” according to the European Parliament’s press statement.
István Ujhelyi, an MEP for the opposition Socialists, cautioned that the Hungarian veto of the minimum tax could “backfire.” “Let us be clear, the veto is about blackmail and nothing else,” he said, insisting that Hungary was using the issue to force access to EU resources.
Meanwhile, Enikő Győri, an MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, rejected the resolution as “another attempt to pillory Hungary.” The national veto is a right of every member state, enshrined in the basic treaties, she said.
A hasty introduction of the global minimum tax would be a mistake in a war-time economic situation, and would put the EU at a serious competitive disadvantage, she said. Tax policy is an important national competency, and should remain in the nation states’ hands, she added.
Without a common fiscal policy, tax issues require unanimous decisions in the EU, she noted.
The global minimum tax would double the burdens on Hungarian companies and risk the country’s economic development, she said. “Hungary’s government stands for tax cuts. We have been pursuing that policy successfully for ten years,” she said.
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