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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

MEPs mull over merits of an EU tax on financial transactions

The economic crisis has exposed weaknesses in the financial system, forcing governments to pump billions of euros of taxpayers' money into ailing banks and other financial institutions to safeguard the stability of their economies. MEPs think that now is the right time to think about how financial institutions could pay back their debt to society. In a March plenary session they called on the European Commission to explore the impact of a financial transaction tax. The idea of such a tax has been floated by economists and politicians around the world for years. Colloquially called the "Tobin Tax" after the economist who put forward the idea, the economic crisis has given it a new lease of political life. On Monday 10 March MEPs adopted a Resolution (536 votes in favour to 80 against) calling for the financial sector to contribute fairly towards economic recovery since the costs of the crisis are being borne by taxpayers. They also called on the Commission to analyse what the impact of implementing the tax would be.

Source: European Parliament