Financial transaction tax - enhanced cooperation

23 May 2013
Adopted References: ECO/345 EESC-2013-1768 Referral - Rapporteur: Stefano PALMIERI (Workers - GR II / Italy) Plenary Session: 490 - 22 May 2013 - 23 May 2013 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 271 of 19.09.2013, p.36
Proposal for a Council directive - implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of financial transaction tax

Financial transaction tax - enhanced cooperation

Key points:

 

The EESC

  • welcomes the proposal put forward by the Commission to introduce the world's first regional financial transaction tax (FTT).
  • believes that its application at regional level (EU11+ zone) could constitute an exceptional opportunity, which could lead to its future application worldwide.
  • feels that one of the strong points of the proposed FTT is the fact that it comprises a broad tax base and two low tax rates
  • believes that, in order to maximise the impact of the tax on economic growth, the revenue that it raises should be channelled into a programme of investment at national and EU levels capable of delivering economic recovery and jobs in the short term.
  • is pleased to point out that, in order to neutralise or at least reduce to a minimum the risk of financial activities being relocated, the Commission has coupled the residence (or territorial) principle (proposed in the original version) with the issuance principle.
  • believes that it would make sense to complement the residence and issuance principles with the "ownership principle". This would make FTT avoidance risky and expensive and secure better application
  • draws attention to the fact that cumulative application of these principles could mean that, in some cases, financial institutions in non-participating Member States would also be subject to the tax.
  • welcomes the anti-avoidance and anti-evasion changes introduced by the Commission.
  • endorses the introduction of an exemption for primary market transactions involving UCITS (units of undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities) and alternative investment funds (AIFs) in order to foster company financing.
  • points out that, when it comes to assessing the effects of this proposal in quantitative terms, the Commission needs to improve the models currently available.
  • The Committee regrets that the fact that the FTT cannot be applied to all 27 EU Member States deprives the EU budget of a fundamental pillar for its system of own resources.
  • While reiterating the need for careful monitoring of the effects of this tax on pension funds and future pensioners, the Committee does not advocate their exclusion from the scope of the FTT.