Carbon targets 'could be met through tax reforms'

A think tank set up two years ago to look into the viability of financial reforms that encourage green behaviour has published its findings.

The Green Fiscal Commission argues that environmental taxes could be used to raise significant revenues, help the UK achieve its 2020 carbon targets and the public could learn to love them - provided they were used instead of, rather than on top of, other taxes.

The report advocates a green shift in taxation - one that does not mean an overall change in taxation levels, but with more emphasis on the polluter pays principle.

"Highly polluting households and businesses will see their tax bill increase where low pollution households and businesses will see their tax bill cut below what it would otherwise be," says the report.

Motorists would be those most obviously hit by the proposed reform, with a significant green tax on fuel seen as an equitable way of raising cash for government.

While nobody loves the tax man, the report says that the commission's research suggests the public is happy with the concept of green taxes.

"The public can be won round to green fiscal reform," it says.

"A number of polls show majority public support for a green tax shift, which increases when people are persuaded that the green taxes really will be instead of other taxes."

The full report can be found on the commission's website here.

Sam Bond



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