The House and Secretary of State want new documents from the Uber whistleblower

The House and Secretary of State want new documents from the Uber whistleblower
Member of Parliament Peter Umtzigt, in the background PvdA Member of Parliament Henk Niebuhr

NOS News

On the initiative of MP Omtzigt, the House of Representatives wants to request new documents about a conversation Prime Minister Rutte had with Uber in 2016 with former European Commissioner Neelie Croese. The House also wants access to conversation reports and information about informal communications between Uber and the Tax and Customs Administration.

The proximate cause is the conversation the House of Representatives had last Tuesday with former Uber chief lobbyist Mark McGahn. As a whistleblower, he previously leaked 124,000 documents that provide insight into the aggressive way Uber has carved out a place in the European market.

“Amsterdam was the base of operations for rogue Uber around the world,” McGann said. And the government turns a blind eye.” Uber drivers were often not paid even the minimum wage, while the company was profitable and had to pay almost no taxes in the Netherlands.

The Tax and Customs Administration was a friend and ally

McGann said Uber only had to pay tax on 1% of its worldwide sales, and then only at a rate of 25%. “The Dutch tax authorities have been our friend and ally,” he said. He also said that tax authorities passed information about tax strategies to other European countries, so Uber was set up.

He said that with Uber facing an increasing number of criminal investigations and lawsuits internationally, management has sought closer ties with senior politicians. The same goes for Prime Minister Rutte. At first he refused the requests, but still visited Uber in San Francisco in 2016.

At that time, a criminal investigation was already underway Inspectorate Living environment and transportation (ILT). According to Root, he did not know at the time whether or not prosecutors would sue, and in the conversation with Uber there was only speculation about it.

Allegations rejected in the investigation

Finance Minister Van Rijk says the conversation with McGahn contradicts what came out of the IRS investigation. We have not heard a new fact, but we are interested in these documents.

According to Van Rij, many of the allegations had already been refuted in the investigation. It’s hard to verify because the results are largely classified as they relate to an individual taxpayer. The research was conducted by the IRS itself, and was reviewed by three professors.

In retrospect, Van Rigg finds this unfortunate. “Going forward, we will first discuss research design with the House of Representatives. Then prevent a situation we are in now.” Van Rij will answer all new parliamentary questions in writing. And so he wants to study the new documents. “Then we need to determine if further research is needed,” he said.

At the request of Omtzigt, PvdA, SP and Volt, a legal investigation is now underway to find out how the new documents could have been requested from whistleblower MacGann, without running him into legal trouble and without allowing the House to break the law.

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