Europe Greenlights Cooperation on Transaction Tax
October 23, 2012
The European Union is encouraging France, Germany, Italy and seven other nations to cooperate on the creation of a financial transaction tax.
The common tax would provide “immediate, tangible advantages” for the 10 participating countries, raising “billions of euros of much-needed revenue,’’ said commission president José Manuel Barroso.
“This is about fairness: we need to ensure the costs of the (economic) crisis are shared by the financial sector instead of shouldered by ordinary citizens," he said.
In the United States, neither house of Congress, to date, has passed a proposal for a similar tax on stock or other securities transactions.
The House of Representatives since 2010 has introduced ten different transaction tax bills, however, and the Senate has introduced four.
In Europe, the cooperating states include: France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
There are 27 member states in the union. Any of the others can join in the common tax scheme later, the EU said.
The EU has estimated that, if all 27 states participate in a unified approach, the tax would bring in 57 billion euros in revenue annually.
But the initial 10 cooperating states have yet to agree on a common approach to the taxation.
The EU said a common transaction tax “would make financial markets more efficient, by steering them away from casino-type trading to more stable activities which support the real economy.’’