Oxfam reaction to Jonathan Hill’s hearing at European Parliament

jonathan-hillOn 1 October, the UK’s Jonathan Hill, European commissioner-designate for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union, faced a hearing at the European Parliament to assess his suitability for the job.

Oxfam’s Deputy Director of Advocacy & Campaigns Natalia Alonso said: “It is disappointing that Hill didn’t put any concrete proposal on the table to make the financial sector work for European citizens. He remained vague on how to better regulate the financial markets and the impact the crisis had on people.

“One pressing issue Hill clearly missed is the urgent need to address the lack of tax transparency by big multinationals. It’s simply wrong that today’s global tax rules allow big companies like Apple and Starbucks to ‘disappear’ their profits in other countries in order to pay low or no tax. Greater scrutiny over where large companies in all sectors really make profits and where they pay their taxes should be a crucial first step in the European Commission’s mission to fight tax dodging.

“On a positive note, Hill threw his support to set up a mandatory lobbying register which can really help shed light on corporate lobby practices in the EU.”

  • Lord Jonathan Hill has been nominated commissioner for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union. While he is not directly in charge of tax matters, like fighting tax evasion and avoidance or promoting a tax on financial transactions, Hill will cover part of the issues followed by the former Directorate General for Internal Market in charge of companies’ auditing and financial account – relating to corporate tax transparency.
  • In June last year, the EU adopted legislation that will oblige banks and extractive companies (oil, mining, gas and forestry) to release information about where they work and where they pay their taxes. Oxfam is calling on the EU to apply the same reporting standards as for banks – the so called country-by-country reporting (CBCR) – to all sectors.

Click here to read the European Parliament report on tax evasion, May 2013, calling for public country-by-country reporting (CBCR).

  • New lobby data web tool showing which companies, trade associations, lobby consultancies and law firms are the biggest spenders on EU lobbying activities.

Next steps

  • 29 September – 7 October: Hearings of all Commissioners-designate and committee evaluation
  • meetings.
  • 22 October: European Parliament votes in plenary
  • 1 November: The new Commissioners take office.

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European Commission, European Parliament, Politics

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