UK Select Committee calls for a Green Tax Commission

The Environmental Audit Select Committee has urged the Treasury to establish a Green Tax Commission to advise on further changes to taxation that would result in positive environmental impacts. The committee concurred with the Government that the 1999 Budget was the 'greenest ever'.

Mixed with its praise for the 1999 Budget, the committee’s report states that “there is likely to be scope for a further round of reform in the next Parliament” and emphasises the need for the Treasury to make use of improved data from the Office for National Statistics. According to the report, “the very positive developments in the work on environmental accounts and the measurement of resource productivity will in due course provide a firm basis for analysing historical impacts of the economy on the environment.”

Revisiting the Committee’s recommendations to the Treasury prior to publication of the 1999 Budget, the report points out that little or no progress has been made with regard to the possibility of taxing fertilisers, pesticides and point sources of water pollution.

The Committee’s report restates its support for the Climate Change Levy and the possibility of an Aggregates Tax. The latter would tax the extraction of aggregates through quarrying.

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