Taxing London bank ' bonuses a 'charming idea', says Merkel
In a joint opinion piece in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged other leaders to impose a tax on bonuses.Bonn -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that plans to tax London bankers' bonuses were a "very charming idea" but did not comment on a Franco-British call for other leaders to adopt the policy.
"I find that the idea in particular of introducing, if I have correctly understood, a one-off tax in the City of London, is a very charming idea that could provide a lesson or two," she told reporters with a smile on the sidelines of a meeting of the centre-right European People's Party.
She added that it should not be taxpayers who shoulder the burden of the financial crisis but "banks and their employees."
In a joint opinion piece in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged other leaders to impose a tax on bonuses.
"We agree that a one-off tax in relation to bonuses should be considered a priority due to the fact that bonuses for 2009 have arisen partly because of government support for the banking system," wrote the leaders.
Britain announced Wednesday it was slapping a one-off 50-percent tax rate on bonuses above 25,000 pounds (40,700 dollars) to recoup cash spent saving the financial sector during the crisis.
According to reports in the French press, Paris is also poised to impose a 50-percent tax on bonuses above 27,000 euros (39,800 dollars), although officials stressed that the exact format has not yet been decided.