Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

EU boss Tajani resorts to tax plan in desperate bid to plug Brexit budget black hole

The senior EU bureaucrat has demanded more money for the bloc’s annual budget as Britain’s contributions are set to leave a black hole in its finances.

Mr Tajani told Germany’s Funke media group: “We need twice as much money as today, so €280billion instead of €140billion per year.”

He also suggested that instead of member states doubling their contributions, the EU would levy a tax to pay for its wide-ranging initiatives and he even put forward the idea of a tax on stock market transactions to boost the bloc’s finances.

Mr Tajani said the EU would need more money to cope with the refugee crisis and the fight against terrorism, as well as to invest in failing Eurozone economies.

He also said “Europeans must invest more in energy and digitalisation of the economy in the future” to compete with the US, China, India and Russia.

But the EU’s most powerful member state was not keen on his proposals.

Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert has said the matter is “in no way on our agenda at the moment”.

While a finance ministry official said the current system of European finance was already “functional” and the emphasis should instead be on spending existing funds more sensibly.

Mr Tajani’s tax proposals were even met with a less than warm response from the EU Commission, whose spokesperson said now “was not the right time to comment on comments”.

The blow for Mr Tajani’s budget plans follows his demands for a tripling of Theresa May’s €20billion compromise offer for the Brexit divorce bill.

He has if Brexit negotiations are to progress.

Speaking to Italian media at the weekend, he asked: “Why should Germans, Italians, Spaniards or the Dutch clear the bills of the British?”

But Theresa May has been told to to avoid the huge payout.

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