Budget 2018: Taking Steps to Green the Irish Economy

The Environmental Pillar calls on the government to incorporate the Polluter Pays Principle,
as appropriate, into all aspects of taxation and spending. This will have the effect of

This will have the effect of broadening the tax base whilst enabling the moving of taxation from income to levies on consumption whilst at the same time removing subsidies from environmentally harmful

For 2018, the Environmental Pillar proposes three tax policies which will help to protect our natural environment, bring additional revenue into the government and bolster an ailing Environment Fund. We call for the adoption of the following policy recommendations both to encourage behavioural change and to inject vital funds into the Environmental Fund:

1. Implementation of a single-use non-compostable item levy – Page 3
2. Adoption of an aggregates levy – Page 8
3. Equalisation of price for diesel and petrol – Page 10

It should be noted that the Environment Fund, established under the Waste Management Act has been decreasing year on year. The two sources of revenue for the fund, based on the Polluter Pays Principle, namely the plastic bag levy and the landfill levy, have had the intended effect of reducing the number of plastic bags used and landfill tonnage. It is expected that revenue from landfill will decline rapidly once the Ringsend Incinerator is fully operational.

The Environmental Fund, established in 2001, at its peak in 2011 brought in €62 million. This money is used to finance the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research and Development, EPA  enforcement actions, Waste prevention programmes, anti-litter initiatives, Environmental Awareness, Tidy Towns, Local Agenda 21, support for environmental non-governmental organisations and other environmental initiatives.

However, it has become a victim of its own success with each successive year bringing in
less revenue year on year. In 2015, the fund brought in only €46 million.

Read the full report here: https://goo.gl/1hWwAK