Lisbon Treaty: Tax
Article 93 , ex Art. 93 EC, amended], presented and discussed below
The Council shall, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission in accordance with a special legislative procedure and after consulting the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee, adopt provisions for the harmonisation of legislation concerning turnover taxes, excise duties and other forms of indirect taxation to the extent that such harmonisation is necessary to ensure the establishment and the functioning of the internal market within the time limit laid down in Article 14 and to avoid distortion of competition.
YES: Unanimity, and thus the Irish veto, is explicitly preserved in the area of tax. (Fine Gael).
This Article is important because it does not relate to direct or corporation tax. It deals only with indirect tax and, therefore, cannot be used as a basis for altering Ireland's corporation tax system. Even if it could be used for this purpose – and it can't - the Article provides a veto to each Member State. (Fianna Fail)
NO : This amends the existing treaties to give the EU Court of Justice the power to rule against Ireland's 12.5% company tax rate if it decides that this causes a "distortion of competition" in the EU internal market as compared with Germany's 30% rate. (National Platform on EU Research and Information Centre).
Commentary: this has no effect on the freedom of the Irish Government and Parliament to determine tax policies. The apprehension that the EU may insist on ending Ireland's “advantage” on corporation profits tax is misplaced. The section deals only with indirect tax and, anyway, this is subject to unaminity.