Osborne backs City with attack on finance tax

Tim Wallace
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GEORGE Osborne last night pledged to lead the charge against Europe’s financial transaction tax (FTT) in the ongoing negotiations with EU leaders.

The chancellor hit out at the plans to tax trades of share, bonds and derivatives, arguing they will hurt growth, damage investors like pensioners and send out the wrong message about the EU.

“The proposal does nothing to enhance the EU’s standing in key in key international discussions and calls its commitment to growth into question, just at the time we need to show international leadership,” Osborne wrote in a letter to financial industry groups.

“If this FTT is to proceed then I believe it should be significantly scaled back with the objective of growth central to the thinking of policymakers in any redesign. The UK stands ready to support in these discussions.”

That is expected to include technical support, such as help to make sure any FTT only affects the 11 countries implementing the tax and to lessen the impact on growth.