Gordon Brown set to use final Budget to impose stiffer green taxes

Environment Secretary David Miliband has floated a broad package of green
taxes designed to change people’s behaviour in a bid to offset global warming,
motorists and airline passengers are likely to bear the brunt of the reforms as
part of the government’s designs.

His proposals, in a leaked letter to Gordon Brown, include hikes on fuel and
air passenger duty as well as increased road tax for drivers of the most
polluting vehicles. The document also outlined a controversial policy which
would see forecourt prices kept at a certain level, irrespective of a drop in
oil prices.

This would ‘maintain pressure on the cost of motoring without individual
announcements on fuel duty needing to be made’, wrote Miliband.

The leak preceded a report, commissioned by the Chancellor, which will warn
of the cost of climate change unless action is taken immediately. Mr Miliband
also championed a move to curb greenhouse gas emissions, stating that the tax
system was a vital tool.

‘Market-based instruments, including taxes, need to play a substantial role,’
he believed. ‘As our understandings of climate change increases, it is clear
more needs to be done.’

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