According to Chancellor George Osborne, a European financial transaction tax would be a fatal mistake for the continent unless countries like the US and China were to participate. EU policymaker suggested the idea, only to have Britain reject it in an effort to protect London’s role as a global financial hotspot.
“Proposals for a Europe-only financial transaction tax are a bullet aimed at the heart of London,” Osborne said in an article in the London Evening Standard. “The idea of a tax on mobile financial transactions that did not include America or China would be economic suicide for Britain and for Europe.”
“The EU should be coming forward with new ideas to promote growth, not undermine it,” he added.
Osborne continued, saying there were “more grounds for optimism” that the euro zone crisis might be resolved, but stated that it is still the “most dangerous moment for the world economy since Lehman Brothers went down in the autumn of 2008.”
He pressed Greece and Italy to prove that they can manage austerity measures, and called on the euro zone to significantly increase the strength of its own bailouts.
“The financial risks of standing behind their currency will ultimately be borne by euro zone citizens. The euro zone has the financial capacity to restore stability. They now need to deploy it without delay,” Osborne said.