You may have seen and heard this story yesterday.
Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski has proposed that certain new taxes be raised directly by the EU to plug the ever increasing hole in the EU’s finances. Unsurprsingly this idea was met with derision across the Union, including Germany.
I totally agree with the view that the EU should not levy taxes directly as taxation is, and should remain, undertaken by member states. It would be quite wrong for the EU to dictate what taxes were to be paid by the British people and how much we should give them.
However, I have sympathy with the new areas for taxation put forward by Lewandowski, namely financial transactions, aviation fuel and carbon emissions. All three of these could make a contribution to UK revenues and be offset against the cuts the coalition government is hell bent on making. On the other hand, would Cameron, Osborne and Clegg really be prepared to make the banks, the airlines and industrial users of power pay their due share? Somehow I doubt it.
I was asked to comment by both BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 2.