According to a confidential paper from the German Ministry of Finance’s management, the ministry rejects the introduction of a digital tax for companies like Google and Apple. According to the BILD newspaper, the “demonisation of large digital companies” is deemed “not effective” in the paper.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“Olaf Scholz has lost his sense of justice. The Finance Minister is protecting the wrong people and companies. Digital companies like Google pay an average of only 9.5% tax on their profits in the EU. Other companies, on the other hand, pay 23.2 percent. The Ministry of Finance is using the wrong numbers. The tax contributions of digital companies are still in imbalance. Google and Co. should not be demonised, but obliged to pay their fair share of tax. The unfair competition between locally rooted retailers and digital corporations must end.
With this move, Olaf Scholz is duping the French president, who has made the digital tax his priority. The rejection is also an affront towards Socialist EU Commissioner Moscovici. Scholz is stabbing the European Social Democrats in the back on tax issues. In recent months, Scholz has already reduced the financial transaction tax to a stamp duty and rejected the public country-by-country reporting for profit taxes of large companies. We Greens will make the digital tax a central issue in the European election campaign. Digital corporations must live up to their social responsibility. Digitisation must not take place beyond the common good. Olaf Scholz and the federal government must now clearly back the digital tax.”
Current figures from the EU Commission on tax payments by digital companies: