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Green Light For Robin Hood Tax

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

GMB Welcomes European Courts Rejection Of Tory Attempt To Block Robin Hood Tax

A majority consider that billions made in speculative trading should be taxed and channelled into benefitting the poor and struggling many not the fat cat few says GMB.

GMB commented on the rejection by The European Court of Justice of the UK Government’s attempt to block the Financial Transaction Tax- called the Robin Hood Tax - in eleven other EU Member States. See notes to editors for details of the judgement.

The UK Government had challenged the right of 11 EU Member States to develop the Financial Transaction Tax in their territories. The 11 countries involved are: Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said “GMB welcomes the decision of the European Court of Justice to reject David Cameron and his Government’s attempt to block an EU Level Robin Hood Tax.

The Court ruled that the decision the Government was contesting does no more than authorise the establishment of enhanced cooperation. The Court found that the UK challenge was premature as the eleven countries involved have not yet decided how the tax will be implemented.

Government’s aim in taking this case was to protect the City from paying for the casino capitalism and financial market speculation that was instrumental in causing the worst economic and social crisis on record. The Court has rightly told them to take a hike.

Most people in Britain think it is about time that those taking eye watering salaries and bonuses in the top end of the financial market sector should be reined in. A majority consider that billions made in speculative trading should be taxed and channelled into benefitting the poor and struggling many not the fat cat few.

The finance ministers of the eleven countries moving forward with the Financial Transaction Tax will meet in Brussels on the 5 and 6 May on the fringe of the Eurozone and EU finance ministers’ meetings to develop discussions on implementation. The UK needs a government that will join them.”

End

Contact: Kathleen Walker Shaw, GMB European Officer 07841 181 549 or 00 32 2 230 56 75 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Links to the judgement

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=151529&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=305554

And official press release from EJC

http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-04/cp140065en.pdf

Some extracts:

In this case, the Court finds that 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 elements of a future FTT challenged by the United Kingdom are in no way constituent elements of the contested decision. They are solely contained, at this stage, in the Commission’s proposals of 2011 and 2013.

Likewise, the contested decision contains no provision on the issue of expenditure linked to the implementation of enhanced cooperation. That issue can therefore not be examined before the introduction of the FTT.

That being the case, the Court considers that the two arguments put forward by the United Kingdom are directed at elements of a potential FTT and not at the authorisation to establish enhanced cooperation, and consequently those arguments must be rejected and the action must be dismissed.

 

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