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Brussels, 23 May 2012

Commissioner Šemeta welcomes European Parliament's strong support for the Financial Transactions Tax

Speaking after the European Parliament's vote in favour of the Commission's proposal for a financial transactions tax today, Commissioner Šemeta said:

"I warmly welcome today's endorsement by the European Parliament of our proposal for a financial transactions tax.

This vote is further recognition of everything that an EU FTT has to offer: a fairer tax system, greater stability of the financial sector, and a new source of revenue that does not ask more of the everyday taxpayer.

The FTT is an opportunity to be seized.

From a small tax we can generate substantial revenues to finance growth-enhancing measures, support growth-friendly tax reforms or help fund global challenges such as development and climate change.

Taxing the financial sector is a question of fairness. Banks and financial institutions received – and continue to receive - massive support from the public sector to overcome the crisis. It is not unreasonable to expect them to contribute, in the same way as other sectors, to our collective recovery.

The FTT will help re-build the damaged relationship between the financial sector and the ordinary citizen, by pointing this sector more towards the real economy and helping to restore confidence.

It is now in the hands of Europe's Finance Ministers to reach a quick decision on the Commission's proposal for a financial transactions tax. This is what citizens – and now the European Parliament – expect."

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