Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You only sing when you're winning. - EU posturing over tax issues

Tax competition between Switzerland and the EU has raised its head once more with scare mongering to Switzerland that a political waste land of no influence and economic isolation will be inevitable if Switzerland does not join the EU.

In reality its all about Switzerland being better at the tax game....

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso has called on the Swiss government to do more in the ongoing spat over low corporate taxes in Switzerland. He also said that while no pressure was being put on Switzerland to join the European Union, an isolated country had no political influence and no future in an age of globalisation.

Having just paid $800 million dollars to the EU when they didn't really have to, I would have thought that the EU Minister would have a little more respect for Switzerland.

Barroso continued "...a country all on its own would be "lost" when it came to economic competition and its political influence would be reduced to zero. Regarding Switzerland, Barroso said the country was "more involved" in the European Union than some member states – "and also more dependent on Europe", he added with a smile.

And there we have the second veiled threat in the last six months from Europe. The first one was a minister saying that "we are not looking at sanctions at this stage" with regard to the tax issue.

The European union is based on the pretence that the individual nations are better off as a 'collective' and the power and free movement within that collective brings all the members a better level of economic and social success.

I have lived in several EU countries and now live in Switzerland and have experienced, first hand, the EU's affect on the citizens of member states. Most are annoyed with education, health services, security, immigration, but worst most feel powerless to do anything about it. Can the UK actually call the last elections legitimate when only 30 odd per cent of the population voted? The biggest reason given by non voters was "it won't make any difference". That's because in countries like the UK, I am afraid, it doesn't.

No referendums on European policy. There was not going to be a referendum on the constitution and when it comes around again, and it will, there will not be one then. Politics in the UK and Europe are about rail roading the masses with gimmicks and spin, while taxing the country to death. On an average £100 spent in the UK only £23 worth of goods and services are bought, the rest is tax...

So why would a country like Switzerland (where my kids can walk to school without fear, where I do not worry where I park my car and where, even as a foreigner, I get to vote on everything that affects my life from state insurance companies to government spending) want to take on the policies of Europe and become just another country and peoples to be pushed around at the will of faceless bureaucrats?

"Democracy" is an oft touted word in European circles and is something that is waved around like a European Standard, but if EU citizens would really like to know what democracy is and how it works very, very well then you should visit Switzerland.

If the price of safety, security and piece of mind is the fact that a few companies and fat cats can pay less tax being here than being in any other EU country, I can live with that.

Oh and Mr Barroso "a country on its own will be lost, when it comes to economic competition" isn't that what the argument is about, 'Tax' competition? Just because Switzerland are winning doesn't mean the EU can change the rules...

As my son would say..... Dad "Don't hate the player, hate the game"...

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