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Budget - Stealth tax introduced to buy carbon credits

8 Dec 2005

Friends of the Earth has described the allocation of €20 million to a Carbon Fund by Minister Cowen in today's budget as a stealth tax on consumers. The fund will be used to buy pollution credits to make up for the fact that Ireland's carbon emissions are running at twice the level of increase we are allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. Today's announcement is the inevitable consequence of the Government's abandonment of the carbon tax a year ago.

Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, commented:

"This is the thin end of the wedge for income tax payers. Instead of a transparent carbon tax on the polluter we have a stealth tax on the ordinary consumer. It may only be €20 million in 2006 but the government's own consultants reckon it's more likely to be €50 to €100 million a year from 2008. A carbon tax would have reduced our Kyoto overshoot in the first place. And secondly it would have raised the revenue to buy out the balance."

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