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BRC supports reduction of taxes on green products
Mar '08
As European leaders gather to discuss ways to cut greenhouse gases, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) is supporting Gordon Brown's calls for the EU to allow countries to reduce taxes on green products.

The Prime Minister will present a paper on the reforms at an EU summit in Brussels tomorrow (Friday).

The BRC condemned proposals in this week's Budget for compulsory plastic bag charges as marginal to climate change when other, more important, issues remain unaddressed. Plastic bags contribute one five thousandth of the carbon dioxide produced by the average UK resident in a year.

The BRC has been pressing the Government for measures that would make a real difference, such as encouraging people to use more energy-efficient products by reducing their cost. This could deliver savings of at least 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Retailers are keen to help Government meet their carbon reduction commitments. Reducing VAT on energy-efficient products is an important first step.

Indefensible protectionist tariffs set by Brussels on imported energy-efficient light bulbs should also be scrapped.

Stephen Robertson, BRC Director General, said: “UK retailers have been leading the way in improving their own carbon performance and inspiring suppliers and customers to do the same. We are now working with other European retailers to achieve even more.

“The market can achieve large-scale take-up of energy-efficient technology if price-raising taxes are removed. Customers have responded positively to stores' promotions and discounts but, with households facing tighter budgets, price will become an even more important factor.

“To help meet European climate change targets, the EU should reduce VAT on energy efficient products and scrap or reduce import tariffs.

This would show European leaders are matching words on the environment with effective action. The Commission is due to review these import tariffs in October and should use this opportunity to scrap them.”

British Retail Consortium

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