Deadlock in FTT negotiations in Council no longer acceptable - time for a decision, say S&Ds

“Deadlock in FTT negotiations in Council no longer acceptable - time for a decision” say S&Ds

During a debate later today in Strasbourg, S&D Euro MEPs will call on EU finance ministers from the 10 participating countries to implement a deal on the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT) without further delay. An EU FTT would constitute a breakthrough that creates the momentum for further work on FTTs in larger forums such as the OECD or G20.

S&D Group vice-president Udo Bullmann MEP said:

"We, as the Group of Socialists and Democrats, renew our call to the 10 participating countries to continue working towards an ambitious and strong FTT based on the October 2016 agreement.

“Despite persistant rumours that member states would refrain from introducing an FTT in order to attract business from the post-Brexit City of London, S&D Commissioner Pierre Moscovici was able to facilitate a breakthrough last  October. Since then, however, rumours have emerged that several finance ministers have hardened their lines and are again working against the introduction of the FTT. For us as Socialists and Democrats, this amounts to a shameful act of political sabotage. A political meeting scheduled for early December that was meant to sign off the agreement was therefore cancelled.

"The introduction of a financial transaction tax is a matter of both justice and economic rationality. Why, after years of economic and social crisis caused by financial meltdown, would you continue to refrain from curbing harmful speculation and sourcing an estimated €35 billion of additional tax revenue that could fund necessary investments? The FTT is really a no brainer – and I don't understand why member states are not getting it!”

S&D Group spokeswoman on economic and monetary affairs Pervenche Berès MEP added:

“In 2011, a large majority (78%) of MEPs from all pro-European political groups voted for the Podimata report calling for the introduction of an EU FTT. Defending and articulating this position in the face of the current stalemate in the Council is therefore a matter of political integrity while the credibility and effectiveness of EU politics is persistently questioned.

“National experiences, in France or in Italy for instance, have shown how positive such a tax is. An EU FTT could contribute to reducing market instability, avoid fragmentation across the single market and ensure a fair contribution from the financial sector to public finances.

“It is wrong to say that a financial transaction tax should only be set up by an agreement at the G20. If the European Union doesn’t lead the way in this field, nobody will do it! The S&D Group calls on all political groups in the European Parliament to join the call for progress on the FTT and strengthened responsibility from the financial sector.”