Skip to comments.EU countries as divided as ever on finance tax (Tobin tax)
Posted on 03/13/2012 11:22:58 PM PDT by Olog-hai
Member states remain thoroughly divided on the merits of a financial transactions tax (FTT) following a discussion on Tuesday (13 March). A small group forging ahead with the plan is not an automatic process either.
With 12 finance ministers taking the floor for a political discussion on the controversial idea, the debate cemented the well-known public positions of several countriesfrom the no-go of the UK and Sweden to Germany's outright support and several shades in between.
"We need a decision in the foreseeable future," said German minister Wolfgang Schäuble, adding that he prefers an agreement among all 27 member states. He indicated that if the FTT project falls by the wayside, he might seek to make banks subject to VAT.
"I can't see why we have value added tax on every exchange of services except financial services. It doesn't make sense."
France and eight other capitals in February sent a letter urging the Danish EU presidency to speed up work on the dossier. The letter prompted speculation the nine signatoriesthe minimum requiredwould forge ahead with a financial tax among themselves.
It is not as easy as it sounds, however.
Enhanced cooperation, as it is called, can only be used as a last resort under EU rules. Member states have to first make a decent attempt at getting agreement by all 27. Only if this fails can a group then apply to the commission for a proposal on how to go it alone.
Meanwhile, a financial transaction tax means different things to different people.
The European Commission's proposalwhich it says will bring in annual revenues of 57 billion if introduced at EU levelis broader, suggesting a tax on trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial contracts.
(Excerpt) Read more at euobserver.com ...
Do you gt a rebate if the debt turns out to be worthless a la Greek bonds ?