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Where has the money gone? Missing €1Trillion in Europe EPSU calls to stop tax dodging and invest in tax services to finance the welfare state


07 Nov 2012


Social Europe & Jobs

(6 November 2012) A new European campaign is going to be launch at the time of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) Executive Committee. The campaign flows from the EPSU tax justice agenda alongside demands for a Financial Transactions Tax, EU common principles on progressive and efficient tax systems, a common corporate tax, and closing down tax heavens. Tax justice is central to the trade union alternatives to austerity in Europe.

Every year, it is estimated that €1000 billion of public revenues are lost in the EU due to tax fraud and avoidance. Closing the tax gap, the difference between how much governments expect to raise and how much they do raise, is vital to tackle the EU public deficit/debt, to contribute to tax fairness as it is the ordinary individual who bears the brunt of tax dodging and to regain citizens’ trust in progressive and efficient tax collection to finance public services. The way forward is investing more into tax administration:

  • it more than pays for itself,
  • it will combat tax evasion directly,
  • it will help close the legal loopholes that make tax avoidance possible 

At present, rather than putting more resources, governments are cutting employment, this is wrong, unnecessary and will cost more money than it will save it.

The EPSU campaign will run until the European elections of 2014 building upon national tax justice networks and expertise of tax staff, naming and shaming large tax dodgers (including companies and individuals), pressing EU institutions for change, and putting forward improvements to tax collection in Europe. For information and contributions to the campaign see

Time and location: Wednesday 7 November at 2.30 p.m. Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, Room salon. Languages: English/French. Refreshments provided.

  • New research findings on why cuts in public tax services are a bounty to tax dodgers and cost more money than save it by Lionel Fulton, Labour Research Department, UK
  • EPSU public services trade union campaign: what and how? By Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary
  • European Parliament resolution for concrete actions against tax fraud in Europe (April 2012)

EPSU press contact Pablo Sanchez Centellas

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 275 trade unions; EPSU organizes workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration, in all European countries including in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood. EPSU is the

recognized regional organization of Public Services International (PSI).


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