Time for a European banking tax?


Sir, – As an engineer, I am aware the first step in designing a solution for a given problem is to have an accurate definition of the problem; without such a definition there is a high probability the solution will not be fit for purpose.

The decisions one typically makes during the engineering process are informed in part by theory, experience and common sense.

It is common sense that Greece or any other country in a similar financial situation cannot pay down the national debt by borrowing more money. This solution will only make matters worse, because it does not address the fundamental problem.

What is the fundamental problem? Is it not that the consequences of a state within the single currency defaulting on sovereign debt destabilising the whole European banking system? If we accept it is a European-wide problem, then we must also accept that the burden of any potential solution should not fall upon the shoulders of the debtor nation taxpayers alone.

One way to spread the burden would be to replace the poorly named Universal Social Charge with a European Banking Tax administered centrally from Brussels and applied to varying degrees depending on amounts lent/borrowed to both debtor and creditor nations within the EU. – Yours, etc,


Sandford Wood,


Co Dublin.