Project Fail: In spite of Brexit and a 2 billion euro tax break in The Netherlands, companies still favor the UK

Isn’t it funny how the pro-EU establishment in the UK has been stoking fears over Brexit, insisting that no company would stay in Britain and they would all set up show in one of the member states of Magical EU Wonderland, while at the same time the pro-EU establishment in The Netherlands has been trying to sell a 2 billion euro tax break for multinationals by stoking fears that without that tax break, companies would all move to the UK? It turns out that, with Brexit and even with that 2 billion euro tax break, companies are still choosing the UK over The Netherlands.

The Netherlands has a very favorable tax climate for large corporations, some even call it a tax haven. At the same time, the fiscal burden for citizens is absurdly high: income tax up to 52% and a VAT of 21% on luxury goods (6% for essentials). There are extra levies on alcohol, tobacco, sodas and fuel. VAT and levies make up 61% of the price Dutch people pay for unleaded gasoline at the pump. But I digress.

Contrary to the wishes of virtually all of the population, the current Dutch government moved to slash a tax that public companies pay on the dividends they pay out, a measure that was heavily influenced by the lobbying efforts of (partly) Dutch multinationals like Unilever and Shell. Unilever was supposedly set to close its London headquarters and merge it with its Rotterdam headquarters, and the tax cut would make that happen, or so we were told.

But the Unilever move is not happening and now Starbucks is closing its office in Amsterdam and moving its activities in with the London head office. The UK will be stronger for leaving the EU, while the EU will choke on the suicide pill of globalism.

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