Euro financial transaction tax is ‘a pipedream’

Proposals for a European financial transaction tax are a “pipedream” with little chance of being introduced, according to Labour MEP for the South East Peter Skinner.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament backed a report by Greek socialist MEP Anni Podimata calling for a tax of between 0.01 and 0.05 per cent on all transactions at a European level.

It formed the Parliament’s submission to a European Commission consultation on financial services taxation.

Skinner, who is a member of the economic and monetary affairs committee, voted in favour of the report but says he supports the principle of financial services taxation rather than the specific proposals put forward by Podimata.

Skinner says: “Anything to do with taxation has to be dec- ided with unanimity and that is not forthcoming, so even if one country opposes it, it cannot go ahead. There was not enough detail, it is not a realistic proposal, so this is a pipedream.

“The report is helpful to get a message across that as an idea it is something most MEPs want to get behind, although, for me, it should only take place on a global level through the G20.”

Economic and monetary affairs committee chairman, UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles says she voted against the report because the Euro Parliament wants to push ahead with the tax even if it cannot be introduced internationally.

UK Conservative MEP committee member Vicky Ford also voted against the report, saying a European tax would be “a tax on the City and especially small investors” and used for funding EU “pet projects” which would see some firms move out of the UK.