The long wait for the Financial Transaction Tax

Is the Financial Transaction Tax facing further delays?

A debate between the new Maltese EU-Council-Presidency and Members of the European Parliament once again made it clear that the decision to introduce a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) would be delayed once more. However, the Commission pointed out that it would support the declaration of principles between the 10 Member States, who want to implement a FTT. A legislative text should be completed by mid-2017 at the earliest. Whether the tax can be launched in 2018 is more than questionable.

Malta sees progress in negotiations

The Maltese Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg informed MEPs on the actual state of affairs concerning the Financial Transaction Tax. The discussions would be complex; however, progress had been made during the past six months with regard to negotiations in important sectors. Most recently, one had discussed the cost efficiency in respect of levying the tax. However, one had to mention that Malta was not part of the coalition of the 10 Member States that want to implement the Financial Transaction Tax.

The next negotiation round will take place on 26 January at the informal Economic and Financial Affairs Council. According to accounts received, the discussions will focus on the impact of the FTT on the real economy and on pension funds.

Criticism by MEPs

Some MEPs voiced criticism and pointed out that negotiations had already been ongoing for 6 years. The Finance Ministers would not be able to afford to meet MEPs at the end of the negotiations with nothing to show for it. Apart from that, the people’s representatives would not give up until a result had been achieved, said one of the MEPs.