SNP MEP Slams Labour and Tory Scaremongering

04 August 2008
Scottish National Party Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has today (Monday) acted to quash the persistent scaremongering of Labour and Conservative MEPs regarding European Commission proposals on funeral VAT.

The European Commission recently issued a consultation paper – ‘Review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates’ – which has been consistently misinterpreted and criticised by Labour and Conservative MSPs and MEPs who have made claims that this paper signals the start of a new European ‘tax on death’.

Speaking from Edinburgh, Mr Smith said:

"I have had it plain and simple from the European Commission that they have no plans to remove the reduced rate of VAT on these services for the foreseeable future so let us have an end to this persistent scaremongering. Indeed, Commissioner Kovács was keen to stress that the passage in the consultation that has caused all this fuss does not reflect the views of the Commission anyway; rather it is in response to requests that have been submitted to them.

"Further, as is clarified by the Commissioner, and as my colleagues should be aware, if the European Commission had a particular wish to amend the current legislation on reduced rates, it would require the unanimous support of the European Council.

"So let this be an end to Labour-Tory scaremongering. It is quite clear that in absence of any facts, this has been jumped upon as an opportunity to attack the European Commission and to alarm the public unnecessarily."

View Mr Smith's letter and Commissioner Kovács's response