Flick the Green Tax Switch in Wales

October 24, 2006 12:28 PM

With 14 stalls campaigning this week across Wales as part of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Green Tax Switch Action Week, today, Jenny Willott MP outlined what the green tax switch means for the people of Wales.

Jenny said:

"The Green Tax Switch means taxing pollution, not people. The unfair tax system has widened the gap between rich and poor. Our proposals would take over 170,000 of the poorest people in Wales out of income tax and national insurance contributions altogether.

"Over 1.1m others in Wales would pay less in income tax - that's over 80% of all Welsh taxpayers. We would also scrap the deeply unfair council tax and replace it with a local income tax based on people's ability to pay.

"This means that a Welsh pensioner couple with £15,000 income and a household with an income of £25,000 would both see an extra £1,500 per year.

"The key to it all is switching to green taxes. Green taxes have fallen since 1999 under Labour while carbon emissions have increased year on year. This is appalling and deeply hypocritical of a government that likes to pontificate to the rest of the world about the dangers of climate change.

"We must cut carbon emissions rapidly. But people and businesses need to see obvious benefits to buying, thinking and behaving green. This means taxing pollution.

"Aircraft for instance have always been exempt from green taxes. This is absurd when their contribution to climate change is growing at a far greater rate than any other sector. We would put in place a new tax on aircraft emissions to encourage them to invest in cleaner, greener fuels and reduce their environmental impact.

"The Green Tax Switch is good for business too. It would provide a major boost to green industries in Wales and include special relief for innovative smaller businesses.

"Biomass and biofuel farmers will benefit from the increased market in their produce and rural areas will also have relief from green taxes on vehicles where their lifestyle means they have no other choice.

"The green tax switch will give people in Wales more money in their pocket and a strong reason to spend it in a green way. This is a win-win, both for the people of Wales and for the environment."

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