The Environmental Pillar of social partnership has welcomed the introduction of a carbon tax in the budget. In its pre-budget submission it had called for a shift from taxes on income to “progressive and just” taxes on consumption of natural resources. The provision for the fuel poor and vulnerable was also welcomed. Its position is backed by the OECD which recommends the phasing out of all environmentally harmful subsidies. These would be replaced with appropriate environmentally related fiscal measures, and a comprehensive environmental tax reform.
“The acceptance of taxation for carbon emissions sets the scene for the introduction of a range of taxation measures that will lead ultimately to serious savings for society and improvements in the quality of life, as well as the creation of a revenue stream for government” said Michael Ewing, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Pillar. This could include taxes on all products that cannot be fully and easily recycled, toxic chemicals, disposable drinks containers, and certain types of food packaging.
The Environmental Pillar claims that it is essential to initiate more stringent polluter pays policies across the whole economy in order to broaden the tax base, help put the public finances on sound footing for the longer term, and shift tax collection away from benign activities such as paid work and towards harmful activities such as resource use and pollution.
The position expressed in this release has been developed by members of the Environmental Pillar but is not necessarily the policy of each member group in the pillar.