sexta-feira, setembro 24, 2004
A Polémica Sobre o "Dumping Fiscal"
Num artigo no FT Chris Patten responde ao Ministro das Finanças francês. Nicolas Sarkozy tem, nos últimos tempos, acusado os novos países-membros da UE de concorrência desleal e têm-se batido pela harmonização fiscal na UE. Chegou, inclusivamente, a ameaçar os países que não aumentassem as suas taxas de imposto com o corte dos fundos estruturais.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French finance minister, has established a reputation as an energetic public administrator and a relative liberal in economic matters. His recent remarks that tax rates in the new member states of the European Union are too low therefore caused surprise, which was increased by his proposal that the funds these countries receive from the Community budget for structural development should be reduced accordingly.
Why should we be surprised by what we now discover about economic management in the new member states? We have been negotiating with them for years and closely monitoring their progress. We should have noticed that, with our encouragement, they are trying to expand their economies on the basis of sound and liberal economic policy after decades in which they were stifled by central planning. Are we now to tell them to give up Adam Smith and embrace big government corporatism?
It is bizarre that anyone should see growing prosperity in one part of our single market as a threat, rather than an opportunity for us all. Should we regard poverty as a form of comparative advantage, for which the poor should be penalised? Personally, I am glad that the estimated annual gross domestic product growth rate of Estonia in 2004 is more than 5 per cent, and that of Lithuania going on for 7 per cent. Would we prefer the entire EU to grow at the current French or German rates of less than 2 per cent?
So if there is a worry about differential tax rates, the right response is for the richer countries to reduce their own taxes. If enlargement exposes the older member states to real competitive challenges within the EU from the newer ones, so much the better.
posted by Miguel Noronha 9:23 da manhã
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