As European finance ministers meet to discuss the proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, aimed at curbing the activities of hedge funds and private equity groups, a think-tank is claiming such activities pull in €9.2bn (US$12.6bn) of taxes a year. Open Europe, which campaigns for European Union (EU) reform and is supported by Sir Stuart Rose and other senior figures in industry, says that €6.1bn of this is raised in the UK. This is enough to pay the salaries of more than 200,000 nurses, Open Europe says. Unless the directive is amended, it will cost European investment firms about €8.2bn by 2020, a large part of which will be passed on to investors. Mats Persson, director of Open Europe, says that ministers have come a long way since the publication of the original proposals, which were heavily criticized by the investment industry. But this is a “terrible time” to put unnecessary burdens on the industry.

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