Green taxes are ‘too complex’

The current package of green tax incentives available to business is too
complex to understand and not lucrative enough to warrant the effort, a survey
of 150 of the UK’s leading businesses has found.

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According to the poll, 98% of businesses said it was important to take
measures to reduce the environmental impact of industry, but over half of these
companies said they were not confident about making long-term investment
decisions based on the current environmental tax and regulatory structure.

The survey conducted by PwC found that business felt many taxes such as fuel
duty and air passenger duty had been dressed up as green taxes and would not
affect conduct, while measures to incentivise green behaviour needed to be

Almost half of the respondents said current government policy and economic
instruments failed to encourage business to alter behaviour.

‘There was a positive response to the use of incentives to change behaviour,
but people were less upbeat on the current incentives,’ said John Manning, UK
head of environmental taxes and regulation at PwC.

‘They are complex, onerous and it is not clear that they warrant the effort.’

Targeted green taxes, such as landfill tax and the climate change levy were
welcomed, however, as business supported specific taxes focused on protecting
the environment.

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