Green taxes attacked by government committee

Posted on 7 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

A new report by the Environmental Audit Committee has accused the Government of undermining public trust by failing to properly justify its proposed green taxes.

According to the committee, the public perceives the Government’s environmental policy as a revenue raising tool rather than a serious attempt to reduce emissions. Green taxation “cannot be all stick and no carrots”, the report said.

A Treasury spokesman said: “The government is committed to being the greenest government ever, as seen by actions at Budget and the plans to set environmental taxes in a clear and accountable framework. The Government welcomes the committee’s report and will respond to its recommendations in due course.

“As stated by the Chancellor at [the] Budget, environmental tax policy is being developed in a way that takes account of all possible levers so that carbon reduction is done in the most effective way and takes account of wider priorities such as sustainable growth and sound public finances.”

Commenting on today’s report by the environmental audit committee on green taxation, Steve Radley, director of policy at EEF said: “There needs to be greater clarity over the objectives of individual taxes, how they fit together, their cumulative costs and how the revenues they raise are being used to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“In particular, the Carbon Price Floor sticks out as a unilateral tax on power generation layered on top of a host of existing carbon pricing measures that’s unlikely to deliver any net emission reductions at a European level,” Radley said. “Government must heed the lessons of this report and undertake a fundamental review of its whole approach to environmental taxation and clear up what remains a confused and cluttered landscape.”

George Archer