Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) – The revelations recurring on the tax optimization of the large companies have without doubt helped to fuel the anger of the working classes. If the economic elite world wants to reconnect with them, she must play the transparency in taxation, have taken several of the participants in Davos.
“No, we do not promote tax evasion,” replied curtly Bob Moritz, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a German journalist who asked him if his group audit and council “did not contribute to the rise of populism” with its operations for tax optimization.
the scandal of The “Luxleaks”, revealed by the two former employees of PWC in Luxembourg, Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, has caught up with Mr. Moritz to Davos in full live presentation of a survey on the morale of business leaders at the global level.
After the “Luxleaks”, “the Panama Papers,” and more recently the “football leaks”, the scandals of tax evasion have increased in recent years, to the point that the debate is even introduced to the WEF, the Mecca of liberalism.
“Here, in Davos, the majority of those who are listening to us companies. And if they support us, this will make things easier”, explained the secretary general of the OECD Angel Gurria, its organization being advanced against the tax optimization.
His message to large international companies was very direct: “You have to pay taxes, where you generate the profits”,-he said, throwing a warning to the participants of the Forum: “today, the level of tolerance (with evasion) has fallen dramatically. Because of the crisis, but also because the States need money,” he warned.
- “taxation without borders”-
“The time when the multinationals were doing what they wanted is gone,” said the european commissioner Pierre Moscovici to Davos. “The revolution of fiscal transparency is in the works”, he assured.
The States have also benefited from Davos to require large groups to the payment of their taxes. “We need to address this issue more decisively and more quickly”, demanded Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish vice-prime minister, at a panel discussion titled “taxation without borders”.
“countries like mine, as well as the emerging economies are in the process of taking large amounts of money”, he denounced, insisting also on the discomfort caused among the population by the avoidance of tax.
A report from Oxfam published just before the opening of the forum dénoncait “how large companies and the richest exacerbate inequalities, by exploiting an economic system that is failing, evading taxes, lowering wages and maximizing the profits of the shareholders”.
in Davos, the executive director of Oxfam, Winnie Byanyima, has launched a warning.
“When businesses avoid paying their taxes, they withdraw to the governments of the revenues necessary for investments, for the education of their own workforce. In fact, she fired a shot in the foot,” she explained to AFP.
Tarnished by the scandal of “the Panama Papers,” the minister of Economy of the countries of Latin american, Dulcidio De la Guardia, travelled to Davos to present the measures taken by his country. “But in spite of all that has already done the Panama, we still have a lot of work to change our image as a tax haven”, he admitted, in an interview with the AFP.
-tax Competition -
Also present in Davos, the French minister of Economy, Michel Sapin, has issued a warning to countries who may be tempted by the “tax dumping” to attract businesses, in response to the promise of Donald Trump to strongly lower the taxes on companies or even the threat of Theresa May to set tax rate competitive if the EU wanted to impose “an agreement that punitive damages” on the Brexit.
“I would caution against any great power to go into a war tax as low as possible,” said the French minister, noting that this “tax dumping” would deprive these countries of the resources necessary for these States to just assume their characteristics of great powers.”