Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-23-Speech-3-019-000"

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"Mr President, Commissioner Šemeta, ladies and gentlemen, firstly, this debate has already taken up quite a lot of our time in this period of office. The interesting development is that precisely through Parliament’s efforts, we have achieved a clear shift in the Council’s position and in the position of the Commission. Commissioner Šemeta, I am pleased that you have truly had a Damascene conversion on this. That is pleasing, and I fully endorse what you have said here. However, the background that we must discuss is how we can implement this tax as generally and widely as possible on a broad tax base and as evenly as possible. That is precisely what we are wrestling with now. In other words, the issue is whether we will succeed in including as many taxpayers as possible, based on the proposed residence principle, so as to avoid competitive disadvantage. Parliament is therefore proposing that we supplement the Commission’s proposal by adding the principles of issuance and ownership. I would be pleased if you could examine this very carefully. In my opinion, and in that of many experts, this makes the tax stronger; it ensures that it can be levied more evenly. Of course, we immediately start now to debate its scope of application. Firstly, currency transactions. We propose that currency transactions, which is where the whole debate on a Tobin tax began, be included. We do not find the legal concerns that have been asserted in that area to be very convincing, nor do various experts. We think it is right to include these currency transactions. My second point concerns the issue of high-frequency trading. In this case, we are proposing that transactions that are not completed are also included in the tax base, since in practice, the number of instructions that are not executed, not completed, is 15 times as high as the number completed. The tax would then also put a brake on high-frequency trading. I regret to say that the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) is currently proposing a general exemption in this area for the undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS). Exempting the large investment funds market would be a serious mistake. It would mean that banks would simply establish a UCITS and thereby be able to carry out their transactions without any tax liability. That would be doing ourselves a real disservice. On the matter of pension funds, I regret to say that the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs is now also proposing that pension funds be exempted. That, too, is a mistake in our view, because studies show very clearly that the less frequently that pension funds trade, the more profitable they are for their investors in the end. The OECD has just presented such a study. Implementing this tax consistently will not penalise them. Finally, I would also like to address the Council. The Danish Presidency – a country with a high tax burden, including on the factor of labour – should have a particularly great interest in progress being made in the area of the taxation of capital yields. So far, you have achieved little in this respect. Please would you get moving on this, and instead of looking into alternatives, just go with Parliament’s proposals."@en1

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