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Osborne: UK will not participate in financial transactions tax

printer Mail

George Osborne told ministers at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, held in Luxembourg on 9 October, that the UK would not be participating in a proposal to introduce an EU-wide financial transactions tax.

The chancellor said in a written ministerial statement on 16 October that while the European Council had suggested in June the adoption of an enhanced co-operation proposal ‘by the end of the year’, and 11 member states had indicated a willingness to participate, he intervened at the 9 October meeting to ‘confirm that the UK would not be joining’.

Osborne added: ‘I stressed that the UK is not against taxation of the sector and already has a bank levy. We would not seek to stand in the way of enhanced co-operation: however this must be done in the context of a clear proposal and in line with the treaty. Currently there remains uncertainty over the likely scope and the purpose for which the revenues would be used. I pointed out that the [European] Commission’s own original assessment had foreseen a GDP reduction of between 0.5% and 3.5% for the European economy: the impact on all 27 member states must be considered and therefore we want to see a specific proposal.’