Try this one from Mats Persson telling The Spectator and the rest of us of Ten myths about Cameron’s EU veto:
4. Cameron used his veto to protect a ‘tiny part of our economy’. This claim slipped into the BBC’s Stephanie Flanders’ reports on Friday and is incorrect. Financial services accounted for a £35bn trade surplus last year — one of the few sectors that generated a surplus, as well almost 2 million jobs and it contributed £54bn in taxes.
Those numbers are only possible by interpreting “financial services” in the broadest possible sense — your retail bank, your building society.
In reality, the EC proposal rules out a FTT (Tobin tax) on securities and currency dealings and on lending and borrowing by private individuals, households, enterprises and financial establishments. That has excluded all your domestic arrangements, all your dealings with your local bank, your mortgage and overdraft. On the other hand, it would apply to the kind of horse-trading engaged in by derivative dealers, by hedge funds and similar speculators, who certainly doesn’t add up to the fifteenth of the entire workforce Persson tries to imply.
Persson’s on a different planet
Probably then we need not bother about the other nine assertions, lest they be based on such dissociations from reality.
But Persson and his blue-wash is just part of the misrepresentation, the “spin”, about the EC and FTT.
Let’s try it again
Chancellor Gids Osborne put up the argument against FTT is that it could reduce the EU’s GDP by 3.5%: the Euro Commission concede 1.76%.
Osborne says FTT would increase unemployment by half-a-million : closer, but no cigar — the EC’s exact figure was 0.2% — which could, at a pinch, be calculated as something like 475,000 across the whole of the EU.
Whereas, back in our own little queendom, we can more exactly define what is Osborne’s alternative “price worth paying”. There he is, taking advice from the likes of tax-dodger Adam Beecroft. His measures apparently involve UK living standards down by between 7 and 11%, unemployment up by at least three-quarters of a million, increased child poverty, increased job insecurity, longer hospital waiting lists and earlier deaths, and six applicants for every job (except don’t even bother if you’re one of the million “neets”).