Breaking News
0

Dutch PM stands by plan to axe tax to woo big business

Stock MarketsSep 21, 2018 10:20AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte

By Bart H. Meijer

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will push ahead with plans to scrap the country's dividend tax, he said on Friday, warning that failure to do so could prompt Unilever (AS:UNc) (L:ULVR) and Shell (AS:RDSa) to move their headquarters elsewhere.

Rutte has come under enormous pressure to keep the 15 percent withholding tax. Opponents argue that scrapping it amounts to a 2 billion euro tax break for foreign investors, mainly designed to please Shell and Unilever.

A recent poll showed that only 11 percent of voters support plans to axe the tax.

"We stand to lose some of the biggest European companies if we do not proceed with this plan," Rutte said in a heated parliamentary debate on the matter. "That is an unacceptable risk."

The prime minister also repeated his core arguments that getting rid of the tax will make the Netherlands a more attractive place to do business, attract foreign investment and create jobs.

"One of the largest companies in the Netherlands will decide, at the end of October, to move its headquarters here," he said, referring to Unilever.

Shareholders of both the British and Dutch arms of Unilever will vote in October whether to approve the plan to create a single headquarters in Rotterdam.

"Another very large company is already here, but is faced with the question whether to remain or even strengthen its position in the Netherlands," Rutte said, referring to oil major Shell, which is headquartered in The Hague.

"They have told us this tax is a major factor in their decisions. You could still opt to hold on to the tax, but there's a large risk that these companies would then decide to leave."

Shell, which uses a dual share structure to exempt British shareholders from Dutch tax, has lobbied against the levy for years. Unilever has been less vocal, but CEO Paul Polman came out in support of Rutte last month, saying scrapping the tax would be good for the Dutch economy.

Several prominent British investors have been critical of Unilever's plan to base its headquarters in the Netherlands, with some citing the increasing uncertainty over the Dutch tax as a new risk.

Rutte's political support appears solid enough for now to see the plan through final approval in December. His coalition holds a one-vote majority in both parliament and the senate.

Dutch PM stands by plan to axe tax to woo big business
 

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email