By David Bicknell
George Osborne’s Budget earlier today has raised significant question marks over the future of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme.
Osborne said this, “Environmentally sustainable has to be fiscally sustainable too. The Carbon Reduction Commitment was established by the previous Government. It is cumbersome, bureaucratic and imposes unnecessary cost on business. So we will seek major savings in the administrative cost of the Commitment for business. If those cannot be found, I will bring forward proposals this autumn to replace the revenues with an alternative environmental tax.”
It will be interesting to know how those ‘major savings’ in the administrative cost might be achieved. That sounds like a softening up for the end of CRC to me.
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Hi Gill, many thanks for your comment. I think Osborne’s move reflects the successful campaign that some business lobbyists have led against CRC. You can see the CBI’s reaction from John Cridland here. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/21/budget-2012-reaction-live-updates?INTCMP=SRCH
Intellect has also been strongly against CRC: http://www.intellectuk.org/blog/2011/07/01/crc-needs-a-silver-dagger/
My guess is that the drive for economic stimulus and to remove red tape may reduce – or may at least be perceived to reduce – the drive to reduce CO2 emissions. Certainly any environmental tax will have to be red-tape free and the opposite of how Osborne described CRC: “cumbersome, bureaucratic and imposing unnecessary cost on business.”
Hi David, do you or any of your readers have a view on how this could impact the drive to reduce CO2 emissions….and what the alternative environmental tax might look like?