European Covid Tax is urgently needed!
The Covid-19 crisis in Europe
The crisis of the Covid-19 has forced european States to a series of exceptional expenses to cope with an extraordinarily serious health and social situation. The short-term suspension of the implementation of the Treaty of Stability and Growth has allowed to increase the levels of deficit without the threat of sanctions by the european institutions. However, the question now is, who will pay the bill: if the indebtedness of the States will lead to new plans of austerity and adjustment, or if the privileged will be forced to pay. It is therefore urgent to put on the political agenda the distribution of wealth, the idea that high incomes and large estates should be taxed for the benefit of the collective interests.
We also think that the coronavirus crisis requires a coordinated response at an international level. In Europe, the European Union and the common market have proved to be unable to coordinate a health response and an economic policy that would give and answer to the social emergency situation. Therefore, we want to promote measures that show a different Europe, at the height of the emergency situation we’re going through, to demand the implementation by the European Council of “Covid19 taxes” to meet the economic needs of today. If there is no agreement among the whole of the States, we believe that this rate can be co-ordinated between countries that choose to do it, without waiting for the agreement of the 27. If such an agreement was not possible, a single country could still implement these measures.
For those reason, we propose:
Emergency Covid19 tax on corporate profits
The urgent establishment by the european States of a system of an “emergency Covid19 tax” on corporate profits and high net worth individuals, purpose-oriented to deal with the costs of mass expenditure caused by the crisis.
Creation of a special European solidarity Covid-19 fund
The tax collection will be managed by the tax offices of each country. We propose this rate to all European countries, with the aim of creating a special european solidarity Covid-19 fund managed in a coordinated way among the States that support the initiative.
Coordinated management for a social response to the crisis that also helps to change in the production model
The funds will be used according to the needs and the impact of the pandemic in each one of the countries. The States will manage in a coordinated manner the funds received to:
contribute to meet the most pressing social needs generated by the crisis with the aim of ensuring humane conditions to all the population,
make investments in public health reverting years of cuts.
contribute to a necessary change of the productive model that is responsive for environmental and social objectives underlying the pandemic. In addition, there should be a percentage to devote to the creation and the first endowment of a public body, effective coordinator of the health actions and research of the group of States that participate in the initiative with a logic of defending “the commons”, encouraging the international solidarity against all logic of privatization of the future vaccines and drugs against the Covid-19.
The four modalities of emergency taxes would be:
Tax on profits that exceeds 5 mill €
1 - Tax on corporate profit that exceeds 5 million euros obtained in the set of member states through billing and economic activity developed in them
It will apply a levy of 3% to the net profits obtained -calculated after deducting from the sum of the total of the income ocurred, both related to the volume of business as well as others, all expenses related to the obtaining of the whole of incomes- before you apply the national tax corresponding to the fiscal year of 2019, made in each of the european countries on the part of societies, consortiums or corporations, regardless of the fact that the tax base of its parent company lies in one or other member state or in a third country.
2 - Tax on the assets of natural persons, whatever the legal form of tenure
Would be taxed at 3% of market value, estimated as of December 31, 2019, the set of assets of any nature whose sum is 1 million euros or higher. From the 10 million euros you would tax with a 5% market value, estimated as of December 31, 2019, the set of assets.
on capital assets that exceeds 1 mill €
on capital assets
3 - Tax on the assets of the investment funds and holding companies
The assets, of any nature, would be levied by 3% of their market value estimated to December 31, 2019.
4 - Tax on property transfer of any nature
They will be taxed by 3% on the market value of all of the amounts in property transferred by legal persons. The amounts of property transferred by physical persons from the amount of 1 million euros will be taxed by 2% of their market value.
on the market value of all of the amounts in property transferred by legal persons
on the market value of all of the amounts in property transferred by physical persons
Three more demands:
No to the blackmail of debt
We know that the medical, social and economic emergency of the Coronavirus pandemic requires an urgent and immediate response, in fact the thousands of millions of euros that have already been mobilized for this purpose are increasing an unaffordable debt for the states and hamper the ability to deal with this situation. For this reason, we believe it is fundamental that the European Central Bank (ECB) cancels all the debts of the member States aimed at tackling the causes and effects of the pandemic or, in its absence, his transformation into “permanent debt” that are unrelated to current budgets. In the meantime, and as a form of pressure for this measure, we propose the unilateral non-payment by the states, as well as a citizen audit of the whole of the debt with a view to repudiating the illegitimate part.
No public aid to companies using fiscal paradises
In these weeks, when a lot of talk has been made about the need to support european companies to overcome the crisis, it is essential to defend the suspension of all assistance to all companies with headquarters, parent-companies or subsidiary businesses in a tax haven or have legal formulae with corporate and tax whose real purpose is to help the evasion and fiscal dumping, adopting the most strict definitions of a tax haven, as in the list proposed by Oxfam or the Tax Justice Network. In addition, what is needed is a coordination of the States to establish economic sanctions against those countries, inside and outside the EU, that are acting as tax havens. Only thus will it be possible to deal with the mass tax fraud which, together with the neo-liberal policies, has drastically reduced the revenue collection capacity of the States.
Let's break out of the straitjacket of neoliberal policies
Likewise, these last months we have seen how central banks of Great Britain or the US are directly funding governments “unlimitedly” to fight the epidemic and its consequences. We believe that it is essential, that as it has been done with the deficit ceiling, to break with the straitjacket of neoliberalism that prevents that Central Banks that make up the euro system can fund states directly. The neo-liberal policy constitutionalized in many of the european treaties has not only revealed unable to deal with the pandemic but has also demonstrated to be an impediment, it is the time to break these treaties and turn the tables on Europe.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the profound incompatibility between the functioning of capitalism and the defense of life. For this reason, the horizon that guides our policies must be to give birth to a new productive model, social and economically fair, democratic and sustainable that puts an end to inequalities, poverty and attacks on the environement. We believe that, more than ever, we must contribute to the awareness and mobilization in our societies. Obviously, for this battle the application of these european emergency COVID-19 taxes won’t be sufficient. The challenge is much broader. But we need to stard somewhere. And perhaps the time has come to put some concrete proposals in the agenda.
First signatures supporting the proposal:
Die Linke MP in the Bundestag
sociologist University of Mons
President of the Christian Worker Movement
political scientist Université Libre de Bruxelles
Secretary General of the Walloon Anti-Poverty Network
Regional Interprofessional Secretary FGTB Liège-Huy-Waremme
Jean François Tamellini
Federal Secretary FGTB (and anti-capitalist activist)
CADTM International Spokesperson
professor of social law at UCLouvain
Economist of CEPAG
Member of the CUP in the Parliament of Catalonia
Member of the CUP in the Spanish Parliament
MEP and Anticapitalist militant
Guillén del Barrio
spokesperson for the Health Workers' Assembly Movement (MATS)
Sociologist, activist and founding member of ATTAC
Member of the National Assembly, for France Insumisa
Regional Councillor of Ensemble Insoumise
ATTAC Scientific Committee
researcher in political economy at the University of Bergamo
former Senator of the Republic
journalist, director of Anticapitalista
Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM Italy)
CGIL Board of Directors
member of the CGTP National Council
Member of Parliament (Solidarités)