Parliament to “take closer look” at rulings system
(CS/CBu) While the government is preparing for a second round of LuxLeaks revelations, parliament is planning on taking a closer look at Luxembourg's tax rulings system, with hearings and a chamber debate not ruled out.
The parliamentary finance commission on Friday met behind closed doors to discuss the latest developments in the LuxLeaks scandal.
It has emerged, however, that MPs are continuing to discuss how to address and investigate the issue, with the head of the commission Eugène Berger (DP) saying that parliament intends to take a closer look at tax rulings. He added that MPs would not be rushed but take a step by step approach.
Pressure on the commission has come especially from “déi Lénk” and its deputs Justin Turpel, who sits in on the meetings as an observer. He has submitted a list of 36 questions to the president of the Chamber and Berger, asking for detailed information, for example on an inventory of tax rulings, Luxembourg's financial gain from the system, as well as its legal basis and political control.
Turpel commented that the public has a rights to know about tax rulings and their implications, saying that facts and figures need to be published. He also said that key figures need to be heard by the finance commission, such as Jean-Claude Juncker, Luc Frieden but also senior tax administration officials.
However, the commission appears to be in disagreement on this issue. While Berger on Friday voiced his intention to invite Juncker and Frieden to speak at the commission, several MPs appear to be against such a move, including members of the opposition and coalition parties.
Berger called for an orderly process. In a first step all factions have been invited to submit questions linked to LuxLeaks to the commission by the end of the year. These will be addressed in detail early next year. A debate in the parliament following this step has not been ruled out, the DP MP explained.
“We need to get a detailed picture of this very complex subject matter,” Berger commented. Only once questions from the different factions are answered can conclusions be drawn, he added. What these could look like is too early to tell, according to the politician.
Turpel on the other hand claims that MPs are playing for time and insists that the discussions need to lead to concrete results, both in regards to political control and the tax administration's activities. Neither the current nor the past government should be let off the hook that easily, he said.
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