March 7, 2007 8:59AM

European Politicians Continue Push for New Tax Powers

The tax burden in most European nations already is stifling growth and undermining competitiveness. Yet many European politicians — as well as the European Commission bureaucracy in Brussels — think that there should be a new pan‐​European tax. Currently, the European Union’s budget is financed by contributions from member states. This is bad enough, especially since it finances the highly protectionist and inefficient system of farm subsidies, but European politicians and bureaucrats doubtlessly would concoct even worse ways of spending money if they had their own tax. The EU Observer reports:

The commissioner argues that any new “own resources system” — where Brussels raises money directly — should be “simple and very transparent.” … One way of changing the EU’s financial system — supported by some in the European Parliament — would be introducing its own tax to replace member states’ donations. The idea came up several times after the bitter budgetary talks both in 2005 and previously in 1999, with for example senior French centre‐​right MEP Alain Lamassoure suggesting that the EU could levy a tax on SMS and email messages.