- U.S. Proposes a Global Corporate Tax Rate of at Least 15%
- E.U. Institutions Agree on Vaccine Certificate
- New Zealand to Spend $247 Million for its Antarctic Base
U.S. Proposes a Global Corporate Tax Rate of at Least 15%
The Treasury Department said Thursday that corporations worldwide should pay at least a 15% tax on their earnings as part of its campaign for a global minimum for enterprises.
According to the department, the request was made during a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) tax steering group on base erosion and profit shifting. This summer, the group hopes to strike a broad consensus on reworking tax regulations for multinational organizations and large internet giants like Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc. (FB.O).
“Treasury proposed to the steering group that the global minimum tax rate should be at least 15%,” the department said in a statement. “Treasury underscored that 15% is a floor and that discussions should continue to be ambitious and push that rate higher.”
In the statement, reminding that there is a race to the bottom in tax rates, it was noted that the global minimum corporate tax rate would develop based on an equal playing field in the taxation of multinational companies while providing justice for the middle class and employees; it will encourage innovation, growth, and prosperity.
U.S-based companies currently pay a 21% rate, a level that was slashed during the Trump administration. Previously, the top rate had been 35%.
Under a proposal from President Joe Biden, the tax rate would be lifted to 28%, part of a plan to raise levies on both companies and the highest earners.
Ms. Yellen is expected to continue talks about global tax reform with her international counterparts at the group of 7 finance ministers meeting next month.
E.U. Institutions Agree on Vaccine Certificate
The 27 member states of the European Union reached an agreement on the “vaccine certificate” that is planned to be used for travels within the Union’s borders.
E.U. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on her social media account that the negotiations between the E.U. Commission, the E.U. Council, and the European Parliament (E.P.) on the vaccine certificate have resulted in an agreement.
Stating that the document, previously described as “Digital Green Certificate,” is called “E.U. Digital Covid Certificate,” Von der Leyen noted that this is a crucial step to re-establish safe and easy travel across the E.U.
According to the consensus, E.U. member states will avoid travel restrictions such as additional testing or quarantine after the certificate goes into effect.
The E.U. Commission will transfer 100 million euros from the emergency support mechanism to make Covid-19 tests affordable.
The E.U. Digital Covid Certificate will be free, prepared on paper or digitally. People who are not vaccinated to prevent discrimination will also be able to have a certificate.
The vaccination certificate will include information showing whether people have a Covid-19 vaccine, where and which vaccine if any, a document about the recovery and antibody level of those who have the disease, and the Covid-19 test result.
With the certificate, travel restrictions for people who have had Covid-19 vaccines approved in the E.U. can be lifted. After that, however, E.U. countries will decide for themselves whether to accept other vaccines.
The E.U. has already approved vaccines manufactured by BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson.
After this stage, it must be approved by the E.P. General Assembly and member countries for the certification regulation to take effect. This process is expected to be completed by July 1.
New Zealand to Spend $247 Million for its Antarctic Base
Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand Grant Robertson submitted a new fiscal year budget bill to parliament, which includes a spending plan for the reconstruction of the base, and spend billions more on welfare payments as part of a spending program aimed at lifting the economy out of a coronavirus slump.
The government released its annual budget on Thursday, indicating that the economy is performing far better than expected since the pandemic began.
This is due in large part to the country’s success in halting the virus’s spread, as well as high international demand for the country’s milk and other agricultural exports. Treasury figures indicate the nation’s economy is expected to grow by 2.9% this year and rise to 4.4% growth by 2023.
Besides, the budget stated that $247 million would be spent to rebuild Scott Base in Antarctica, which was established in 1957 and is an essential hub for international research activities in Antarctica.
The project would involve demolishing the existing 12 buildings built in the early 1980s and replacing them with three large, interconnected buildings. One of the new buildings would be used for accommodation and dining, one for science, and one for engineering and storage. When the facility is completed, it will reach the capacity to host 100 people at the same time.
Both New Zealand and its Antarctic Treaty partners must still sign off on the proposal. According to the plan, bulldozers would be brought to Antarctica in the first year, and building would take another six years.