CRC EES morphs into a stealth tax
The news that the first sales of carbon permits for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme are to be put off for a year and that this income will not be returned to participants in the form of recycling payments has been greeted with dismay and cynicism. The official Government statement is: ‘The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will be simplified to reduce the burden on business, with the first allowance sales for 2011-12 emissions now taking place in 2012 rather than 2011. Revenues from allowance sales totalling £1 billion a year by 2014-15 will be used to support the public finances, including spending on the environment, rather than recycled to participants.’
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said, ‘The coalition said they wanted to simplify the complexities of the CRC, and they have certainly found a novel way to do that. This will not, however, “remove the burden on businesses” as they claim, but ensure that the CRC will cost the wider business community almost £3.5 billion than it would,’ [over the period 2011 to 2015].
The BPF has urged the Government to clarify its plans for the flagship CRC EES. Liz Peace said, ‘Today’s announcement contains little detail on the Government’s full intentions in respect of the league table, how allowance sales will function and to what ends the money gathered will be used. We urge the Government to clarify urgently how the revised scheme will function, as people are making decisions today upon it.’