2011-05-21

Red Tape Challenge

I've taken the government's Red Tape Challenge on industrial emissions and carbon reduction. Here's my submission:
I accept that the world needs to curb its greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is that the UK has saddled itself with a huge bureaucratic burden in trying to deal with the issue, and all these regulations aren’t working properly. I advocate the abolition of all the GHG schemes, including EU-ETS, ROCs, LECs, CRC, CCL, REGOS, FiTs and CHPQA, to be replaced with a carbon tax. The revenue raised from the carbon tax should be divided up equally amongst the population, and returned to people through the income tax system. In this way it would be a revenue neutral tax for the government.

A carbon tax is easy to collect, because there aren’t many points that fossil fuels enter the country, eg. ships and pipelines. This is in contrast to the current schemes that involve large numbers of people both in government and industry working on endless form filling.

One of the criticisms of a carbon tax is that it causes fuel poverty. If the revenue is divided up equally amongst the population and returned through the income tax system, fuel poverty would be avoided.

The question arises as to the level that the carbon tax should be set at. I suggest that parliament sets an emissions target, and then every month the carbon tax rate is adjusted by an independent committee to ensure we hit the target. It would work a bit like the Monetary Policy Committee sets interest rates to meet an inflation target.

Thank you for considering my comments.

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