Nov 2007 26

The FT reports a new CBI report endorsing new green taxes.  The reports supports a range of policies.  Strengthening emissions regulations on cars are easy for British business to endorse as our car production is now almost entirely foreign-owned.  The central recommendation, to strengthen the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, has been characterised by economist Greg Mankiw as thinly veiled corporate subsidy:

"Cap-and-trade = Carbon tax + Corporate welfare."

Both BP and Shell made profits (PDF) from the scheme while NHS hospitals paid millions.  Both companies had members of staff contribute to this report.

More broadly, this report is an attempt to pay Danegeld to the environmental movement.  The authors hope that they can divert environmentalist fervour into corporatist policies that will either provide them with a subsidy or impose further regulation which gives a competitive advantage to big businesses competing with small firms.  The reality is that they will further strengthen unhinged, radical environmentalism and do immeasurable damage to business interests in the medium to long term.

Matthew was the Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, author of Let Them Eat Carbon and editor of How to Cut Public Spending (and still win an election)