Tax & Accounting Blog

EU Council Issues Fiscal Policy Recommendations

Blog, Indirect Tax, ONESOURCE, Reuters Tax & Accounting News, Sales and Use Tax July 30, 2014

EU

The Council of the European Union issued recommendations and opinions on economic policy for 26 of the 28 Member States (excluding Cyprus and Greece) on 8 July, 2014. The recommendations were issued without discussion and close out the European Semester, the annual fiscal monitoring process. The recommendations largely follow the recommendations of the European Commission, issued on 2 June 2014, including the following changes:

  • Austria: changes in wording softening the recommended manner in which Austria is to raise the retirement age.
  • Belgium: changes in wording regarding retirement age, effectively delaying a recommendation to increase statutory retirement age
  •  Finland: changes in wording softening the recommended manner in which Austria is to raise the retirement age.
  •  Lithuania: incorporate language recommending incorporating work-based learning to increase effectiveness of vocational education training.
  •  Luxembourg: changes in wording to recommend aligning the effective and statutory retirement ages.
  •  Malta: changes in wording regarding pension reform, allowing more freedom for the government of Malta to determine timelines for reform.
  •  The Netherlands: changes in wording to soften the recommendation that a reduction in mortgage deductibility be accelerated.
  •  Portugal: Remove text in context of youth unemployment recommending an increase in the threshold of eligibility for the minimum income scheme. This is an area of Member State competence.
  •  Slovenia: added words to recommend that the adequacy of pensions, as well as the sustainability, be ensured.
  •  Spain: changes in wording to more accurately reflect how state and local entities interact in Social Services and Minimum Income Schemes