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Brussels, 16 June 2014
Statement by Commissioner Šemeta on Taxation Trends in Europe
"Our recent recommendations to Member States stressed the need to lower labour taxes in order to create jobs in Europe.
Today's Tax Trends report confirms the Commission's concerns.
Labour taxation is still too high, while growth-friendly bases, such as environmental taxes, are under-used in many countries.
The tax shift away from labour, which we have consistently called for to allow our businesses to regain competitiveness, still has to materialise.
Tax rates do not necessarily need to rise to have stable revenues. In this respect, the steady increase in VAT rates across the EU, which the report reveals, could be curbed if VAT systems were more efficient.
Many Member States could even lower their standard VAT rate if they broadened their tax base and relied less on reduced rates.
The statistical evidence in today's Tax Trends report should convince Member States that our recommendations for tax reforms are the right ones, and that growth-friendly taxation must be put at the heart of their structural reforms."