ECJ rejects UK opposition to Tobin tax

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has blocked Britain’s legal challenge to the financial transaction tax, or ‘Tobin Tax’, going ahead.

The court said the UK could not block attempts by 11 countries - including Germany, France, Italy and Spain - to use a tax on financial transaction because it was not yet in operation.

The ECJ said in a statement: “The court dismisses the United Kingdom's action.

“…the contested decision does no more than authorise the establishment of enhanced cooperation, but does not contain any substantive element on the FTT itself.”

The move will come as a...

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About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist


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    By JC
    07th May 2014 11:34

    What happened to Subsidiarity ...

    '.. In areas in which the European Union does not have exclusive competence, the principle of subsidiarity seeks to protect the capacity of the Member States to take decisions and to take action and authorises intervention by the Union ..... etc'

    Why is it that the EU theoretically enshrines safeguards and yet when it comes to the crunch simply ignores its own rules

    Principle of Subsidiarity -


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    By keithas
    07th May 2014 11:47

    This continues:

    "The purpose of including a reference to the principle in the European Treaties is also to ensure that powers are exercised as close to the citizen as possible."

    Given that most of the country is in favour of this tax, I find it really galling that this government is using taxpayers money to try to oppose this legislation just to protect their mates and secure nice jobs once their term of office has ended.

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    By JC
    07th May 2014 12:23

    Motives ....

    Just a few questions

    Who are the winners & losers with this - EU wins (dosh), London may lose financial standing, Paris & Frankfurt 'bources' may benefit, anyone other than the EU receives nothing

    Is it an attempt by the EU to transfer the financial centre away from London and over to Paris & Frankfurt

    The proposal from the EU is that money received from this tax goes directly to the EU, therefore how would it benefit the UK - and we all know how well the EU manages their existing funds (EU Audit, MEP salaries/expenses etc.)

    The UK will in all probability result in paying even more into the EU coffers - so what benefit would it be to the population of the UK

    Bearing in mind London's standing in this arena, no one knows the knock on effect on the financial sector or whether it would encourage re-location to other more benign jurisdictions.

    Trading of this nature is pretty much stateless and being fluid like water it will probably transfer to centres of leats resistance in the best most advantageous locations. The UK is one of the most vulnerable countries in the EU in this respect and anyway who actually benefits from driving away financial trading to areas outside the EU?

    It is not going to:

    Reduce inequality or solve povertyReduce the risk in the financial sectorRe-balance the UK economy

    So what is the point of it other than to possibly line the EU pockets?

    Rather 'smacks' of a populist hate the city, lets stuff the rich syndrome rather than a measured approach to the issues


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    By keithas
    07th May 2014 14:03

    Relocate where?

    "Bearing in mind London's standing in this arena, no one knows the knock on effect on the financial sector or whether it would encourage re-location to other more benign jurisdictions."

    The Banks are always threatening to go elsewhere but this is an empty threat. Radio 4 did an excellent analysis on this a couple of years ago: there are only about seven countries that could afford to bail out the Banks, as we did, and none of them are a viable option for them. Why haven't they gone to the Seychelles years ago? Because they like paying tax in the UK? Or because they need the financial insurance of a major economy?

    As for more benign!? Various governments from the '80s onwards gave them benign 'til they ruined themselves and us with them.


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    By JC
    07th May 2014 15:36

    Misplaced understanding ...

    Has 'bank relocation' really been an empty threat or just not worthwhile so long as the status quo is maintained. Once these EU measures are implemented banks will have to focus their minds and weight up the pros & cons - so the entire dynamics will have changed and history is no reflection on the future

    Is trading really the issue or just a convenient scapegoat which will also provide a cash-cow for the EU

    Now if one really wanted to address these issue there are other areas to look at - but of course the downside is that there is no additional revenue (kickback) for the EU so less incentive for them to act

    Why don't we start by looking at 'fractional banking' which is probably a major cornerstone of instability in the system and in turn makes them very vulnerable to runs on the bank purely because they do not hold sufficient reserves - having lent the same money out multiple times.

    In this respect one may need to go back a few years and re-visit a derivative of the Chicago Plan (all deposits backed by equivalent Govt bonds - or something tangible)

    At the same time the fundamental role of banks should probably be up for review and in this respect should they only act in one role

    Client Money .v. Deposit

    Client money - cash in you accounts is segregated from the bank's own assets and held in trust accountsDeposit - banks hold money as a banker and not as a trustee

    And the question has ti be - why are bank customers not given the choice of how the banks hold their money (client .v. deposit)?

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    07th May 2014 16:26


    Maybe the Tax raised will come back to Feed the Poor & Impoverished of this country 

    created by the Tories & Chums.(I suppose that is a dream too far)probably end up paying some MEP s expenses or fed back to Millionares by way of dodgy grants.

    Mind you as was proved in 2008 Does the Monies actually exist or just a paper equivalent so 

    big bonuses can be Paid ( maidoff ruled)

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