German EU Presidency will impose Financial Transactions Tax, says Merkel

Germany will seek to resurrect the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), to impose minimum tax rates, an EU-wide healthcare system and joint carbon emissions trading scheme for aircraft and ships on member nations during its upcoming six-month presidency of the bloc.

The FTT, a favourite project of the clumsily named Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament, was heavily resisted by the UK, which no longer has a say.

Indeed, the tax will be seen as damaging to the EU members states' financial sectors, and so will now likely be welcomed by the now immune City of London. Head of business at the Centre for Policy Studies Nick King said it was “a relief for UK businesses that they won’t apply here”.

We have rightly thrown our economy into the ICU to protect lives — the last thing we should do is strangle the patient before they have time to recover. These proposals would actively discourage everything we now need – a thriving economy in which companies employ and transact. A financial transaction tax that undermines the business activity we now need would be disastrous.

Matthew Lesh, head of research, Adam Smith Institute

An FTT that applies to the EU member states but not to the UK will, amongst other things will encourage businesses to move away from the European money markets to the benefit of the UK, and will likely adversely affect post-coronavirus recovery plans.

The revolving presidency of the Council of the European Union allows individual countries to set the EU’s agenda during the six months of their stint.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

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