The Corner

Osborne Pushes Back

One of the myths about the proposed financial transactions tax being pushed by Merkel, Sarkozy, EU Commission Barroso, Senator Harkin, various celebrities, various clergymen and other folk usually worth ignoring is that it is a “tax on bankers”. It’s not. Like so much else it’s primarily a tax on savers (and politicians pretend to wonder why people don’t save more).

 

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) George Osborne, one of the few bright sparks in David Cameron’s dreary and generally destructive government (but less destructive than Labour!) takes the opportunity to remind a few people in Brussels of just that fact:. The Daily Telegraph reports:

During talks in Brussels, the Chancellor argued that it was a “waste of time” to discuss a controversial financial transactions tax, which requires the unanimous support of all 27 EU member states, instead of dealing with the pressing eurozone debt crisis.

 

“What I find difficult to accept is that we are going to spend a huge amount of time discussing, in the middle of a crisis in the European economy, the idea of a financial transaction tax when it is already clear, both from the euro and non-eurozone, that there is not anything like unanimity for it,” he said.

 

“We have to ask ourselves whether this is the best use of our time.”

 

During comments that were supported by three other countries, Osborne attacked the European Commission’s financial transaction tax (FTT) proposal as missing its target of bankers to hit pensioners.

 

“There is not a single banker in this world that is going to pay this tax. There are no banks that are going to pay this tax. The people who will pay this tax are pensioners,” he said.  

Osborne continued with more home truths, something that infuriated the German finance minister, a stooge of Brussels briefly on leave from his day-to-day work of looting the German taxpayer: 

Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister, warned Mr Osborne that non-euro countries like Britain should think “very carefully” about creating differences between the single-currency area and the rest of the EU.

 

“We will wait 20 years before doing anything if we wait for the last island on this planet,” he said. “One day we may have to do it in the euro zone rather than the EU.”  

Ah yes, the EU…bringing Europe closer together.

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