London's Green MEP welcomes strengthening of proposed EU Financial Transaction Tax
The European Parliament has today voted to tighten the Commission's proposed EU Financial Transaction Tax in order to capture more trades and to make evading the tax unprofitable. MEPs from across the Parliament have also signalled that the levy should go ahead even if only some EU countries opt in .
Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert has welcomed the outcome of the vote, which will mean that financial institutions located outside the EU FTT zone would have to pay the tax if they trade securities originally issued within the EU's 27 Member States.
Shares issued outside the FTT zone but traded by at least one institution established within, such as a French bank trading in New York, would also be included under the new amendments passed today.
The Commission's FTT proposal as it stands would see a tax levied at 0.01 per cent on share and bond transactions and 0.01 per cent on deals involving complex securities, such as derivatives. It is estimated that such a tax could generate up to €55 billion a year and provide much needed revenue for under-pressure treasuries. A 2011 YouGov poll for Oxfam found that 51 per cent of those polled in the UK support a tax on financial transactions as a way of raising revenue to protect public services and tackle poverty both at home and abroad .
Speaking after the vote, Jean said: "The outcome of today's vote will serve to strengthen the Commission's proposed Financial Transaction Tax, and is to be welcomed. The issue of such a tax is ultimately about fairness; reigning in those morally irresponsible financial practices such as short selling which have led to perhaps the gravest economic crisis since the 1930s. Global financial centres, like London, Hong Kong and Singapore have long had financial transaction taxes on shares and loan products, proving that an FTT can be practically applied to many financial products.
"An EU FTT could help to raise much needed revenue for public investment and international development, help to stabilise the market by forcing firms to pay some of the costs of their damaging activities and go some way towards protecting the global economy from the fall out of future financial crises. It also has the support of the public. It is now crucial that the Commission listens to the will of the Parliament and implements its proposal without delay and at the broadest possible level."
Notes to Editors
1. The European Parliament was voting on the Podimata report. The full proposal can be read here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2012-0154&language=EN
News type: Press Releases