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Labour MEPs vote for EU taxes on the city

Tuesday, 8th March 2011

A new tax on the City of London, controlled by the EU, has come a step closer after Labour MEPs backed a European Parliament call for an EU Financial Transaction Tax (EU FTT), Roger Helmer MEP, warned today.

The Podimata report, backed by Euro-MPs today, will influence the European Commission, which is expected to come forward with proposals for EU tax-raising powers shortly. As well as an EU FTT, the report also calls for feasibility studies into an EU 'carbon tax' on every product sold.

Evidence from the campaign calling for an EU FTT shows that it would treble the UK's EU contribution to 20 billion. It would also redirect some tax receipts away from the UK Treasury, which raised 5.7 billion in financial services corporation tax in 2010.

Without a global agreement the FTT would also push transactions offshore to less-regulated markets. Countless jobs in both financial centres and in many related industries would be lost.

Socialist MEPs have led the campaign for an EU FTT, regardless of whether there is a global agreement, whilst the European Conservatives and Reformists group is calling for common sense to prevail so that such taxes are levied for national exchequers, with a global agreement to prevent the inevitable relocation that would occur.

Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands said:

"Whilst there may be a case that financial services companies should pay increased taxes, this is not the way to do it.

"A European Financial Transaction Tax would be a tax on the City of London raised by Brussels to fund pet projects. No wonder Labour MEPs are so enthusiastic for it.

"Socialist MEPs show once again that they completely fail to understand the global nature of finance. Their slogan calls for the EU to regulate global finance as though the world stops at the borders of the EU.

"Labour MEPs want to treble the UK's payments to the EU. That is simply indefensible at a time when they should be seeking to cut what we pay to Brussels. Any Financial Transaction Tax levied must be in concert with at least the G20 countries, with revenues going to national exchequers, not to the EU."