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Reasons to vote against the financial transaction tax – speech in plenary

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Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). Mr President, there are a number of reasons for Parliament to vote against the financial transaction tax. Firstly, Sweden tried this in the 1980s and it failed. It undermined Swedish financial markets and the City of London gained. It also caused more speculation, and all the experience shows that it did not help. Also, this was at a time when the financial markets were less global and less mobile. Now, the opposite is true. 

Secondly, even the Commission recognises that the financial transaction tax will lead to less growth. The discussion is about how much less growth, but it will give less growth, which is contrary to what Europe needs today. We need more growth and we need reforms that support economic growth and dynamic financial markets in Europe. 

Thirdly, the financial transaction tax is not providing us with new money. It will be paid by customers – those who are going to invest and those who trust in their future pension schemes. It will be paid by all of us, because there are no taxes paid by anyone apart from the citizens of Europe. This tax will not help in the Europe of today, so we should vote ‘no’.