EU Commission massages its figures on Financial Transaction Tax

The European Commission’s decision to rewrite its own damning impact assessment on proposals for a Financial Transaction Tax – so that it is more favourable towards the proposal – is a clear indication it is putting its political agenda above jobs and growth, Roger Helmer MEP said, as he spoke in support of his colleague, Kay Swinburne MEP.

The commission announced that it would revise its assessment to ensure an overall positive reflection is portrayed – glossing over the warnings that it could reduce GDP by 1.76 per cent and cause companies to leave the EU.

Mr Helmer’s fellow MEP, Dr Swinburne, asked when the commission was going to learn the lessons of the Greek crisis – originally brought about because the EU massaged figures to show Greece as a country prepared for Euro membership when clearly it was not.

Mr Helmer, who represents the East Midlands region, added:

“This is typical of the European Commission. It is now treating impact assessments like referenda: keep asking until you get the answer you want.

“The assessment was clear: a FTT will lead to job losses, slow growth, and businesses leaving the EU altogether. The commission wants to whitewash these warnings.

“The EU institutions pay lip service to jobs and growth but behaviour like this exposes the real agenda. The commission is adamant it will impose this tax, regardless of the consequences.

“Political interference to massage figures saw Greece enter the Euro when it was not ready. Now they are trying to massage figures to implement this devastating tax. When will they learn to put economics above politics?”

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