S&D Euro MPs call for a financial tax to curb speculation

S&D Euro MPs today backed calls for an EU tax on financial transactions to curb reckless speculation on the money markets.

The proposal, put forward in a European Parliament motion in Strasbourg, calls on the European Commission to study all options for a financial tax including the possibility that it could contribute to the EU budget.

Said S&D spokesman for economic and monetary affairs Udo Bullmann of Germany: “Greedy speculators are responsible for the collapse of the financial markets. It would be unfair to make our citizens bear the costs of the financial markets’ mistakes. This tax would introduce a sense of morality to markets.

“There is up to 90 times more purely speculative action on the money markets than financial transactions for genuine economic needs. A financial transaction tax would help to find a better balance.

“How, as some critics claim, a taxation level of 0.01 or 0.05 percent on financial transactions could hamper the competitiveness of the European Union. The EU just recommended some member states to increase VAT by two or more percentage points to overcome budgetary shortfalls – and this is a tax on real goods and services.

“The European Commission has so far been too hesitant on this issue. The EU should not hide behind the US or other states to explain its inaction. If there is no worldwide agreement on an international transaction tax, then the EU should take the lead and move forward”.

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