After many months of discussions, MEPs last week in Strasbourg voted by a majority of 487 votes to 152 (breakdown of the vote
) in favour of introducing an EU-wide Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). Last year, the European Commission proposed imposing a tax of 0.1% on the trade in shares and bonds, and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trading.
Supporters of an FTT (also known as the Robin Hood Tax
) see it as a means to disincentive speculative trading which is partly blamed for current financial woes and for the EU to raise its own funds instead of annually calling for greater contributions from member states.
But Conservative MEP Ashley Fox
is a staunch opponent of an FTT; for him it is a “thoroughly bad idea
” and “quite simply an EU cash grab on the City of London
”. Following the Parliament’s vote, he spoke to EuroparlTV
and questioned whether it would raise any substantial sums of money and noted that the UK and three other governments have said they will veto the proposal “so it’s not going to happen
Certainly with this latter remark, Mr Fox has a point. Taxation is an area where the agreement of all EU member states is required for the proposal to become law. Since several member states – including the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK – are strongly opposed, it is highly unlikely to ever see the light of day at an EU-27 level.
As he later muses in his June 2012 newsletter
, “why [is] the European Parliament still wasting time and talking about the measure?”
All six South West MEPs voted against the FTT proposals.
Labels: Ashley Fox