The Green Fiscal Commission (GFC), launched on 14th November 2007, is an impartial and independent body. The Commission will spend the next year and a half looking at a whole range of issues surrounding green taxes and environmental tax reform (ETR). The GFC is due to report in April 2009.
The Commission will focus on making the UK tax system greener', moving taxes from good' things such as labour, to bad' things such as environmental damage. The key to a green tax shift is that it is revenue neutral - tax cuts on goods' must be balanced by equivalent tax increases on bads'.
The Commission is made up of experts from business, academics, senior MP's from all three main political parties, members of the House of Lords and representatives from consumer and environmental organisations. Its primary objective is to look into the difficult area of green taxes in the UK and to prepare the ground for a significant programme of green fiscal reform. The GFC will achieve this by:
- providing authoritative, accessible and independent research on the options for environmental tax reform in the UK and assessing the social, environmental and economic implications of these proposals; and
- using the media and other communication activities to raise awareness and understanding of the options for environmental tax reform and stimulate public and political debate on them.
The Commission will focus on three areas:
- the generation of information/evidence on the operation and implementation of environmental taxes;
- the generation of information/evidence on public and stakeholder attitudes to environmental taxes; and
- targeted and appropriate communication of the Commission's findings to a broad range of stakeholders and the public.
The Commission's work will aim towards a substantial tax shift in the UK so that 20% of tax revenues will come from green taxes by 2020.
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