BRUSSELS (MNI) – Passing the revenues raised from an EU-wide tax on
financial transactions to the EU budget would contribute to a halving of
the amount national governments must contribute to the EU, European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Thursday.

Speaking in the European Parliament about the Commission’s next
budget proposal, Barroso said that the Commission’s plan for a 0.1% tax
on trading in shares and bonds and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trading in
combination with a plan to modify value added taxes, would reduce
national contributions to the EU budget by up to half, according to some
preliminary estimates.

Barroso sought to allay EU governments’ skepticism about the plans
which would give Brussels greater financial independence.

The EU budget is not “basically a budget for current expenditure”
but a “budget for investment” in the member states, regions and cities,
he said.

Every euro spend through the EU budget has a multiplier effect both
for government budgets through synergies and scale effects and because
of the way it is used to leverage private expenditure for a greater
overall impact, Barroso said.

EU lawmakers are debating the EU’s budget for the years 2014-2020.
In 2012 the EU has a E147.2 billion budget. Between 2007-2013 the EU
budget amounts to E864.3 billion, roughly 1.1% of the EU’s GDP.

European governments remain deeply divided over the Commission’s
plans for a financial transaction tax and are likely to push for
alternatives to be considered as any changes to EU tax laws need the
unanimous approval of all 27 member states.

–Brussels newsroom: +324-9522-8374;
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