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East Midlands LibDem MEP votes against proposed "EU Financial Transaction Tax"

May 24, 2012 12:12 PM
By Bill Newton Dunn MEP
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats
Local MEP Bill Newton Dunn voted against the proposal for an EU financial transaction tax, which was voted through by a majority of MEPs in the European Parliament today in Strasbourg.

An EU-wide financial transaction tax was proposed by the European Commission last September. Also known as the Tobin Tax (after an American professor who thought up the idea) it would be levied on financial transactions including those made by banks, insurance firms and ordinary companies which use financial transactions to hedge their financial risks. It could include supermarkets and manufacturers.

Bill's objection is that this extra tax burden would be passed straight on by the banks and the City to the citizens at a time when the economy is already in great difficulty.

Bill commented :

"What a majority in the Parliament voted through today is a stealth tax that would hit the man and woman on the street.

"It has more in common with the Sheriff of Nottingham than with Robin Hood, because the burden of the tax would not fall on the banks, but on ordinary people - who would have to foot the bill through price rises and steeper financial costs.

"I am all for making banks pay their fair share through bank levies and closing of tax loopholes and tax havens, as the Coalition Government says it is doing, and I fully support the original Tobin idea of using the money to help the under-developed world.

"I hope that when national ministers meet in their chamber (the Council of Ministers) in Brussels to discuss the proposal, they will agree to work with the US and other international partners towards an international agreement for a global level financial transaction tax, when economic times are better, which could help finance global goals such as fighting climate change and global health scourges and reducing poverty."