Telegraph: Herman Van Rompuy, Europe’s first president, is to join forces with the European Commission to push for sweeping new tax raising powers for Brussels.
Within days of taking office in January, the former Belgian prime minister will put his weight behind controversial proposals already floated by the commission’s head, José Manuel Barroso, for a new «Euro tax».
He will add credence to Mr Barroso’s plans, to be formally tabled in the New Year, by arguing for a Euro-version of a «Tobin Tax» – a levy on financial transactions already floated by Gordon Brown as a solution to the international banking crisis. It would result in a stream of income direct to Brussels coffers, funding budgets that critics say are already rife with waste and overspending.
Mr Van Rompuy, 62, who was appointed to the newly-created £320,000-a-year post at last week’s special EU summit, set out his stall on direct Euro-taxes during a private speech at a recent meeting of the Bilderberg group of top politicians, bankers and businessmen. The group officially meets in secret, but when selected details of his remarks leaked out, his office was forced to issue a public statement on his behalf.
«The financing of the welfare state, irrespective of the social reform we implement, will require new resources,» he said. «The possibility of financial levies at European level needs to be seriously reviewed.»
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