European union financial transaction tax wikipedia, the free encyclopediaDocument Transcript
European Union financial transaction taxFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe European Union financial transaction tax (EUFTT) is a proposal made by the European Commissionto introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) within the27 member states of the European Union by 2014. Thetax would impact financial transactions betweenfinancial institutions charging 0.1% against the exchangeof shares and bonds and 0.01% across derivativecontracts.The proposed EU financial transaction tax would beseparate from a bank levy, or a resolution levy, whichsome governments are also proposing to impose onbanks to insure them against the costs of any futurebailouts. The tax that could raise 57 billion Euros peryear remains controversial among EU memberstates. In October 2012 a group of eleven states began pursuing the idea of utilizing enhanced co-operationto implement the tax in states which wish to participate. Contents 1 History 2 European Commission proposal 2.1 Scope 2.2 Tax rate and revenues 3 Evaluation and reception 4 Public opinion 5 Political support 5.1 Supporting countries 5.2 Opposing countries 5.3 Other countries 6 External links 7 See also 8 ReferencesHistoryOn June 28, 2010, the European Unions executive said it will study whether the European Union should goalone in imposing a tax on financial transactions after G20 leaders failed to agree on the issue. The followingday the European Commission called for Tobin-style taxes on the EUs financial sector to generate directrevenue for the European Union. At the same time it suggested to reduce existing levies coming from the 27member states.European Commission proposal
On September 28, 2011, president of the European Commission Jose Barroso officially presented a plan tocreate a new financial transactions tax "to make the financial sector payits fair share", pointing out that the financial sector received 4.6trillion euros from EU member states during the crisis.Given 10 EU member states already have a form of a financialtransaction tax in place, the proposal would effectively introduce newminimum tax rates and harmonise different existing taxes on financialtransactions in the EU. According to the European Commission thiswould also "help to reduce competitive distortions in the single market,discourage risky trading activities and complement regulatory measuresaimed at avoiding future crises".The Commission proposal requires unanimity from the 27 MemberStates in order to pass. France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Finlandspoke in favor of the EU proposal. Austria and Spain are also knownto support an EU FTT. Nations that oppose the proposal include the The building of the EuropeanUnited Kingdom, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Commission where the EU FTTParticularly the UK government has expressed strong views about the proposal was drafted.negative impact of the tax and is expected to use its power of veto toblock the implementation of this proposal, unless the tax was to beintroduced globally. The likelihood of a global FTT is low due to opposition from the United States. As away out, advocates of the FTT such as the finance ministers from Germany, Austria and Belgium havesuggested that the tax could initially be implemented only within the 17-nation eurozone, which wouldexclude reluctant governments like the United Kingdom and Sweden. If adopted, the EU FTT wouldcome into effect on January 1, 2014. In October 2012, after discussions failed to establish unanimoussupport for an EU-wide FTT, a group of eleven states began pursuing the idea of utilizing enhanced co-operation to implement the tax in states which wish to participate.ScopeThe tax would be levied on all transactions on financial instruments between financial institutions when atleast one party to the transaction is located in the EU. It would cover 85% of the transactions betweenfinancial institutions (banks, investment firms, insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds and others),but not affect citizens and businesses. House mortgages, bank loans to small and medium enterprises,contributions to insurance contracts, as well as spot currency exchange transactions and the raising of capitalby enterprises or public bodies through the issuance of bonds and shares on the primary market would not betaxed, with the exception of trading bonds on secondary markets.Following the "R plus I" (residence plus issuance) solution an institution would pay the tax rate appropriateto the country of its residence, regardless of the location of the actual trade. In other words, the tax wouldcover all transactions that involve European firms, no matter whether these transactions take place within theEU or elsewhere in the world. If acting on behalf of a client, e.g., when acting as a broker, it would be ableto pass on the tax to the client. Hence, it would be impossible for say French or German banks to avoid thetax by moving their transactions offshore.Tax rate and revenuesNaturally estimated revenues may vary considerably depending on the tax rate but also on the assumed
effect of the tax on trading volumes. An official study by the Revenue Estimate for EUEuropean Commission suggests a flat 0.01% tax would raise between Financial Transaction Tax€16.4bn and €43.4bn per year, or 0.13% to 0.35% of GDP. If the tax Revenuerate is increased to 0.1%, total estimated revenues were between Tax base Tax rate estimate€73.3bn and €433.9bn, or 0.60% to 3.54% of GDP. (€ billion) Securities:The official proposal suggests a differentiated model, where shares Shares .1% 6.8and bonds are taxed at a rate of 0.1% and derivative contracts, at a Bonds .1% 12.6rate of 0.01%. According to the European Commission this could Derivatives:approximately raise €57 billion every year. Much of the revenue Equity linked .01% 3.3would go directly to member states. The United Kingdom e.g. would Interest rate linked .01% 29.6receive around €10bn (£8.4bn) in additional taxes. The part of thetax that would be used as an EU own resource would be offset by Currency linked .01% 4.8reductions in national contributions. EU member states may EU total 57.1decide to increase their part of the revenues by taxing financialtransactions at a higher rate.Evaluation and receptionEuropean CommissionThe European Commission itself expects the EU FTT to have the following impact on financial markets andthe real economy: Up to a 90 per cent reduction in derivatives transactions (based on the Swedish experience). Slightly negative or positive effect on economic growth depending on the design of the EU FTT. A long-run (20 year) reduction in gross domestic product in the EU by 0.53% if "mitigating effects" take hold, or up to 1.76% if they dont. In May 2012 the EU Commission corrected its analysis and now predicts a slightly smaller negative impact on economic growth of 0.3%, and even a positive impact of at least 0,1% or €15bn if the generated tax revenues are spent on growth enhancing public investments. Algirdas Semeta, European Commissioner for taxation, customs, audit and anti-fraud argues that "if the projected €57bn (£47.7bn) per year is put towards consolidating national budgets, reducing other taxes or investing in public services and infrastructure, the direct economic effect of the FTT should be positive for growth and employment in Europe". An effective curb on automated high-frequency trading and highly leveraged derivatives An increase in capital costs, which could be mitigated by excluding primary markets for bonds and shares from the tax The real economy could be protected by ensuring the tax is levied only on secondary financial products, thus not affecting transactions such as salary payments, corporate and household loansIn its latest study from May 2012 the European Commission also dismissed the belief that financialinstitutions could avoid the tax by moving their transactions offshore, saying they could only do so by givingup all their European customers.External expertsIn February 2012, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament discussedthe European Commission proposal with financial experts. Avinash Persaud of Intelligence Capital, SonyKapoor of Re-Define and Stephany Griffith-Jones of Colombia University have all welcomed the suggestedfinancial transaction tax which, they argued would hit the right players, such as high frequency traders andintermediary financial players, and not the real economy, and which could lead to a 0.25% increase in
GDP. Griffith Jones and Persaud estimate the positive impact on economic growth to amount to at least€30bn until 2050. At the Committee meeting Stephany Griffith-Jones and Avinash Persaud presented areport which goes into more detail about this position.In this report, Griffith-Jones and Persaud base their claim that an FTT could lead to an 0.25% increase inGDP on the assumption that the FTT would "decrease the probability of crises by a mere 5%". However,they do not believe that a Financial Transaction Tax on its own would prevent financial crises. The authorsargue: "the FTT would somewhat reduce systemic risk, and therefore the likelihood of future crises. We are clearly not arguing that on its own, the FTT would reduce the risk of crises, as prudent macroeconomic policies and effective financial regulation as well as supervision also have a major role to play in crisis prevention. However, by significantly reducing the level of noise trading in general and reducing (or eliminating) high frequency trading in particular, the FTT would make some contribution to the reduction of severe misalignments and hence the probability of violent adjustments. Moreover, in financial crises “gross” exposures matter more than the net ones, and financial transaction taxes will reduce the gap between the two. The growth costs of crises are massive. For example, Reinhart (2009) estimates that, from peak to trough, the average fall in per capita GDP, as result of major financial crises, was 9%. The Institute of Fiscal Studies (2011) has recently estimated that for the UK, when comparing the real median income household income in 2009-2010 with 2012-2013, the decline will be 7.4%. Of course for European countries directly hit by the sovereign debt crisis, like Greece, the decline of GDP and incomes will be far higher."In May 2012, member of the executive board of the European Central Bank Jörg Asmussen also spoke out infavor of an EU FTT, citing additional revenues and justice to be the main reasons.Former International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Kenneth Rogoff is critical of a FTT, saying"Europeans concluded that an FTT’s political advantages outweigh its economic flaws... there certainly is acase to be made that an FTT has so much gut-level popular appeal that politically powerful financialinterests could not block it." Similarly, Oxera, the Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank)and the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis have all come out with detailed analysis andcriticisms of the proposed EU FTT.Public opinionA Eurobarometer poll of more than 27,000 people published in January 2011 found that Europeans arestrongly in favour of a financial transaction tax by a margin of 61 to 26 per cent. Of those, more than 80 percent agree that if global agreement cannot be reached - a FTT should, initially, be implemented in just theEU. Support for a FTT, in the UK, is 65 per cent. Another survey published earlier by YouGov suggests thatmore than four out of five people in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy think the financial sector hasa responsibility to help repair the damage caused by the economic crisis. The poll also indicated strongsupport for a FTT among supporters of all the three main UK political parties.Political supportSupporting countriesOn 9 October 2012, the following countries have agreed to implement a FTT based on the proposal of theEuropean Commission utilizing enhanced co-operation:
Austria Belgium Estonia France: In late 2001, the French National Assembly passed a Tobin tax amendment, which was overturned by the French Senate in March 2002. On 1 August 2012, newly elected French president Francois Hollande introduced a unilateral 0.2 percent FTT, which is expected to generate €170 million in additional revenues for 2012 and another €500 million in 2013. (see: FTT in France) Germany: On 10 December 2009 the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel revises her position and since then supports EU FTT. Greece Italy: In January 2012, new Italian prime minister Mario Monti said Rome had changed track and now backed the push for FTT, but he also warned against countries going it alone. Portugal Slovakia Slovenia SpainOpposing countries Bulgaria: Bulgaria is opposed to the EU FTT. Czech Republic: The Czech Republic is opposed to the EU FTT. Denmark: Denmark opposes a FTT if applied only in the European Union. Luxembourg: In December 2011, prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker backed EU FTT, saying Europe can’t refrain from “the justice that needs to be delivered” out of consideration for London’s financial industry. However on 13 March 2012, the government officially opposed EU FTT. Malta: Malta opposes a FTT. The introduction of a blanket transaction tax by Europe would jeopardise the islands competitiveness in the financial services sector. Sweden: Sweden opposes a FTT if applied only in the European Union. United Kingdom: The British government supports a FTT only if implemented worldwide. In 2009, Adair Turner (chair) and Hector Sants (CEO) of the UK Financial Services Authority both supported the idea of new global taxes on financial transactions. On the other hand, the Bank of England strongly opposes a FTT. Its governor Mervyn King dismissed the idea of a “Tobin tax” on 26 January 2010, saying: “Of all the components of radical reform, I think a Tobin tax is bottom of the list ... It’s not thought to be the answer to the Too Big to Fail problem - there’s much more support for the idea of a US-type levy.”Other countries Cyprus: Cyprus has been reported to be "less positive" about the FTT. Finland: Finland was originally among the nine EU members pushing for an EU FTT, but now it does not plan on participating in the enhanced cooperation. Hungary: Hungary is supportive of a FTT, and on 16 July 2012 introduced a unilateral 0.1 percent FTT to be implemented in January 2013. Ireland: Ireland is in favour of a EU-wide FTT, but not of a Eurozone FTT. Latvia: Latvia has been reported to be "less positive" about the FTT.
Netherlands: In October 2011, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said his cabinet supports a FTT but opposes an introduction in only a few countries. Nevertheless, the country blocked the introduction of EU FTT in March 2012. In October 2012 the new coalition government said it will adopt the proposed EU FTT provided it is not imposed on pension funds. Poland: Poland is considering joining the EU FTT. Romania: Romania has stated that they would support an EU-wide FTT. Lithuania: Lithuania is not opposed to the FTT, but does not plan on participating in the enhanced cooperation.External links European Commission Proposal (http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/other_taxes/financial_sector/com( 2011)594_en.pdf) Financial Transactions Taxes (http://stephanygj.net/papers/FTT.pdf) - report presented to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament in February 2012 by external experts Stephany Griffith-Jones and Avinash PersaudSee also ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens) Bank tax Europeans for Financial Reform Exorbitant privilege Financial markets Financial transaction tax Fluctuation in exchange rates Foreign exchange controls Foreign exchange market Money market Noise (economic) Robin Hood tax Spahn tax Speculation Speculative attack Tobin tax Transfer tax Volatility (finance) Volatility risk 2008–2009 Keynesian resurgenceRelated economic crises Financial crisis of 2007–2010 European sovereign debt crisisReferences
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