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Pollution tax proposed printable version
02 Oct 2014: posted by the editor - Environment, Ireland
In its pre-budget submission, An Taisce says it has identified potential revenue of more than €100 million in pollution taxes. The suggestions from Ireland’s National Trust form part of a package of proposals that would, if implemented, copper-fasten Ireland’s reputation as a global first mover on environmental issues, the Trust states.
An Taisce says that its proposals would see exchequer receipts rise, emissions reduce, and the pressure taken off labour taxes.
There is the potential for revenue generation of more than €100m based on reform in three areas – €80m from an aggregates tax, in excess of €16m from an out-of-town retail parking levy, and upwards of €8m a year from a pesticides tax.
Vehicles and Parking Re-balancing the taxation of goods vehicles will help stem revenue loss; because of an outdated system, revenue receipts from large trucks are falling as operators relocate some or all of their fleets to the UK. Detailed proposals are put forward on how to overhaul the goods vehicle tax system by introducing emissions based tax banding, similar to that which currently applies to private cars.
The environmental charity also put forward suggestions which could see the electric vehicle market kick-started.
Over €16 million could be raised by levelling the playing field between out-of-town retail parks and traditional town and city centres by introducing a parking charge which would be split between Revenue and local councils.
The current tax structure for aggregates is extremely weak and rogue operators are prevalent in many border areas. An Taisce proposes that a tax of €2.50 be levied on each tonne of aggregates extracted from the ground or lifted from the surface and used in construction. This is at parity with the £2 rate applied in Northern Ireland and could be expected to yield €80m a year while boosting the recycling of construction materials.
Further revenue can be generated by bringing pesticides into the tax net, which have been proven to harm human health and wildlife.
"We believe that the policies outlined in our submission would represent a win-win scenario for the government, helping to drive revenue intake, while making surefooted steps to improve human health and the environment. The proposed measures will lift our quality of life on a day-to-day basis", said James Nix, Policy Director at An Taisce.
With additional steps to reform tax rates to favour electric vehicles, Ireland will help cut the use of fossil fuel in transport. The use of home-produced renewable electricity both cuts emissions and sees higher employment levels in Ireland, boosting the domestic economy as well as the environment.
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