Financial Transaction Tax Moves Forward

Alyn Smith MEP has welcomed the decision taken at today's Economic and Financial Affairs Council to introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) by 11 Member States through "enhanced cooperation" procedure.

The EU Commission is now expected to present proposals on the detail of this new taxation scheme which will need to be accepted by unanimous agreement of the participating Member States.

Commenting on the decision, Alyn Smith said:

"I am glad that those Member States wishing to push ahead with the FTT can now go ahead and get on with it, and I hope the Commission will be quick in presenting its detailed proposal.

"Where there is a willingness amongst Member States to cooperate further than the current framework allows, then I have no wish to stand in their way. This tax has the potential to raise billions of euros of revenue in these tough economic times, and discourage high frequency trading strategies which have the ability to undermine financial stability, and this path should be open to those who want to pursue it.

"While I could not support the creation of an EU level FTT due to our belief that taxation is a matter for sovereign nation states, and concerns about the ability of financial institutions to quickly shift jurisdictions to avoid the tax, I will be interested to see how the FTT works in practice."