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The Parent Subsidiary Directive

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by Greville Warwick

The EU puts out its Directives and not much notice is taken until an issue drives it out for debate and scrutiny. This Directive was intended to prevent same-group enitities based in different states from being taxed twice or even thrice, yet it has been turned on its head and ignited furious debates and streams of hysterical wailing and gnashing of teeth by politicians who signed us up to the Directive, nodded all its gold-plated UK provisons through and now find it is not doing what they thought it would do.

Trade Union chieftains routinely accuse global companies of dodging taxes by trading across legal jurisdictions in exact accordance with the provisions and various national statutes based on the Parent-Subsidiary Directive. These same blockheads didn’t utter a single word of caution or advice when their political comrades devised, gold-plated, kept secret and craftily nodded through the mother of all Parliaments in the good old days when Antony Blair of that ilk ruled in conjunction with the Marxist Scotsman economist-of-note Gordon Brown, also of that ilk.

Just why the Unions should hold the present Government responsible for cross jurisdictional tax avoidance, when it is in accordance with statutes which they helped put in place, is not clear. Perhaps big Bob Crow or wee Len MaCluskie could explain their turncoat tactics in time for the Euro elections in May. If there are people in politics, the Church and high places who resent the big corporations and how they pay tax, they should have the guts and honesty to own up to their own stupidity and complicity in accepting the Directives that underpin it to this day!

Directives are issued in various formats. It is usually instructive to consult the versions issued in French and which are adopted for French domestic use. These are more likely to indicate the original true and fair intention and actual content of the Directives. It is well established that the British versions of Directives often end up almost totally different to those that are adopted by the French in their simplified format as proper working statutes and discussion documents designed to help and facilitate compliance and effect rather than to baffle, confuse and destablilise the issues they are intended to clarify and improve.

Lawyers do well out of the British Directives, Regulations and Interpretations that dog so many of our industries, commercial undertakings and ordinary people who get caught up in their toils and misrepresentations. It is time to take stock.

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