THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has given its backing for ten European Union countries to adopt a financial transactions tax as part of efforts to ease the sovereign debt crisis.
The levy will see a small charge imposed on transactions of currencies, bonds and shares traded at banks and financial institutions.
Despite the small size of the duty, the number of transactions would mean the yield would be substantial. Indeed, the commission estimates revenues of €57bn (£46bn) annually if the tax were applied across the EU.
France, Germany, Italy and Spain are among the countries intending to introduce the charge, with Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia following suit.
The nations decided to press ahead with the plans, despite having failed to gain the support of all EU member states.
Several states said they supported the tax in principle, but would not enact it unless all global financial centres implemented it too.
The UK in particular has staunchly opposed to the move, amid concerns the levy would hit the City particularly hard.
EU president Jose Manuel Barroso (pictured), cited by the BBC, said: “This tax can raise billions of euros of much-needed revenue for member states in these difficult times.
“This is about fairness – we need to ensure the costs of the crisis are shared by the financial sector instead of shouldered by ordinary citizens.”
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