Wednesday 23 September 2020

Dutch will press ahead with controversial carbon tax for industry: FD

The Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The cabinet is pressing ahead with plans to introduce a carbon tax on industry, and the measure is included in the 2021 budget which will be presented to MPs on Tuesday, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Saturday.

Officials had suggested earlier that the tax would be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic and the reluctance to saddle industry with an extra tax.

However, junior tax minister Hans Vijlbrief  told European finance ministers in Berlin on Saturday that the Netherlands would be pressing ahead with the measure and that he hoped other EU countries might make the same move, the FD said.

This, he said, would prevent Dutch companies moving their more polluting activities to other EU countries to avoid the tax.

The carbon tax is one of the most sensitive parts of the government’s plans to help realise the Paris climate targets and companies such as Tata Steel, Yara and Dow Chemical have already said the measure will damage their competitiveness.

Aviation

Vijlbrief also told EU ministers that the Netherlands is still planning to bring in a tax on flying in 2021, the paper said.  However, he said, he would look again at the date of January 1, given the impact of coronavirus on the aviation industry.

‘On the other hand, what is a good moment?’ he said. ‘This is a form of transport which is not taxed in any way whatsoever.’

Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg, Denmark and Bulgaria have already said they supported the Dutch call for an EU tax on flying.

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