While the UK veto on the Financial Transactions Tax (or “Tobin Tax”) is solid, an FTT could still cause significant damage to the UK financial services industry if it is introduced –as is being planned – by a group of eurozone countries, warns renowned international tax expert John Chown in Time to Bin the Tobin Tax, published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Monday 23 April.
Published to coincide with a high level, cross-party online web seminar on the subject on Monday morning – speakers including Andrew Tyrie MP and President Barroso’s former special adviser, Roger Liddle (see http://tobintax.theinformationdaily.com/) – John Chown demonstrates the flaws in the arguments in favour of an FTT:
- it would not enhance market stability
- it would not curb “undesirable financial activity”
- it would not raise substantial funds for various “good causes”
- its burden would not fall on bankers and financial traders but on pensioners, employees and consumers
- Its impact would fall disproportionately on the UK.
But he also shows that if an FTT were introduced under enhanced co-operation –as is currently being planned by France and Germany – UK branches of French and German financial institutions could be fully liable to an FTT on all transactions. Even subsidiaries of German and French financial institutions could be affected if it were shown that the risk in any transaction had been passed back to the parent company.
In addition, any legislation for an FTT (whether on an EU-wide basis or within a set of member states) will be enormously complex; and will be subject to many years of legal dispute (which would probably have to be settled at the ECJ). The resulting uncertainty could only be severely damaging to the UK financial services industry.
He concludes that it is therefore essential that the UK uses every possible method to ensure that an FTT is not introduced at any level in the EU.
The full report can be downloaded from here.
- Time to Bin the Tobin Tax by John Chown is published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Monday 23 April.
- John Chown is a co-founder of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and a specialist in the taxation of financial markets. He was invited to give evidence on the Financial Transactions Tax to the House of Lords Select Committee.
- The web seminar, Tobin Tax: golden egg or dead goose?, co-hosted by the Information Daily and the Centre for Policy Studies, will be webcast live on Monday, 23 April from 11:30 – 13:00. Participants include Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee; Roger Liddle, former adviser to President Barroso; Kay Swinburne MEP; Iain Anderson, Cicero consulting; John Chown; Mitch Cohen, head of public affairs, Barclays; A Hauffman, head of government relations, Citibank;Tim Knox, Director, Centre for Policy Studies. You can follow this event via our live webcast (you need to register) or via Twitter through the hashtag #tobintax. Alternatively submit your questions via email to: email@example.com in advance, or by Twitter on the day, or let us have you thoughts now on our ‘have your say page
Tags: andrew tyrie | barroso | chown | ecj | eurozone countries | expert john | financial institutions | financial traders | financial transactions | ftt | legal dispute | level cross | liddle | market stability | monday 23 | morning speakers | substantial funds | tax expert | tobin tax | web seminar