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Financial taxes at the top of the agenda

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Financial taxes at the top of the agenda

EU economy ministers are preparing to examine a Commission report on the possible introduction of a bank levy and a tax on financial transactions, but the neutrality of the report has already been called into question by the European Parliament. The introduction of an EU-wide Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) and a Financial Activities Tax (FAT) will be discussed by EU economy ministers on 7 September, “on the basis of a working paper” presented by the European Commission.“We intend to show the positive and negative effects of these taxes on Europe,” confirmed EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta’s spokesperson to EurActiv. We will present a very objective and neutral discussion paper,” the spokesperson added. However, MEP Pascal Canfin (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance) disputes the neutrality of the report, claiming it is “broadly hostile to a financial transactions tax for ideological reasons.” Canfin called on governments “not to give in to the Commission”. According to the Green MEP, all the arguments against the introduction of such a tax are irrelevant. In response to the fears of the Commission, Canfin cited the idea of “exonerating non-financial institutions from the tax. Since these organizations represent on 18 percent of transactions on the market, by far most of the derivative products will be subject to the tax without any negative impact on non-finacial institutions.”
 Canfin also referred to the position of the Greens on the subject and the presentation to the European Parliament in mid September of the proposal to introduce an EU tax on financial transactions.

Source: Euractiv