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Green Tax Switch Week comes to Eastleigh

October 28, 2006 6:00 PM
Green Tax Switch Campaign

Green Tax Switch Campaign

As reported earlier in the year the one part of the Liberal Democrat plans to tackle Climate Change is to use the tax system to switch taxation from income and on to pollution. In the past week Liberal Democrats across the country have been taking the message on Climate Change and the Green Tax Switch to streets and shopping centres.

Liberal Democrats campaigning in Eastleigh

Liberal Democrats campaigning in Eastleigh

The Green Tax Switch plans were official made party policy at the Autumn party conference and the key tax proposals are :-

  • Another person signs up to the Green Tax Switch

    Another person signs up to the Green Tax Switch

    Cut the basic rate of national income tax by 2p
  • Abolish the existing 10p starting rate of income tax and so raise the rate at which people start paying tax thereby taking more than two million people out of income tax altogether
  • Raise the starting threshold for the 40% upper rate of taxation to £50,000 pa - taking 1.3 million people out of paying upper rate tax
  • Tax pollution and resource use with a range of measures including more steeply graduated Vehicle Excise Duty for new vehicles, and replacing Airport Passenger Duty with a tax on aircraft based on their emissions
  • Cut the number of tax rates and reliefs for both individuals and businesses
  • Remove our previous commitment to a 50% tax rate

This will reform the tax system to make it fairer, simpler, greener, more local and local efficient :-

  • Fairer - progressive in relation to income and wealth
  • Simpler - for individuals and companies: fewer rates and reliefs, more transparent, harder to avoid
  • Greener - our "green tax switch" will make polluters pay, while reducing taxes for those who live in an environmentally friendly way
  • More Local - greater freedom for democratic local government to raise (and spend) revenue
  • More Efficient - recognising the importance of incentives to work and save, and growing global competition

Commenting on the Green Tax Switch campaign local Councillor David Goodall said :-

"As Liberal Democrats we have a comprehensive plan for tackling climate change, because the environment has always been at the heart of our thinking - it is not an 'add on'. We have always made sure a green thread runs through every aspect of our policies."

"To persuade people to live in a more environmentally friendly manner it is necessary to make a number of changes and on the most obvious is to give them tax incentives of they turn on the Green Switch in their lives."

"This is why I fully back this fundamental change to our tax system"

This high level of concern and policies on Climate Change is backed up by Greenpeace who in a challenge on climate change gave the Liberal Democrats a much higher rating than the other two main parties, it was report in the Guardian that :-

"Greenpeace found that Labour scored only 38% in a challenge on climate change - just one point ahead of the Tories on 37%. The Liberal Democrats came top with 61%"

It is policies like :-

  • Our climate change bill would contain annual targets for cutting carbon emissions so that the Government's efforts could be assessed, and an independent scientific body would report each year on progress.
  • Our long-term goal of zero municipal waste, through waste minimisation, reuse and recycling. Manufacturers would be held responsible for disposing of their products and materials that are difficult to reuse or recycle.
  • Our commitment to ensure that Britain sets an example internationally and takes a lead on negotiations for the next set of targets for greenhouse gas emissions, prioritising inclusion of the USA and Australia and bringing in the developing countries, on the basis of the long term goal of 'contraction and convergence'.

When combined with the Green Tax Switch plus vast improvements to the public transport and power generation networks that give organisations like Greenpeace the hope that a Liberal Democrat government really would tackle the problem of Climate Change.

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