Letter: A green way to glean revenue

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The Independent Online
Sir: Thank you, Hamish McRae, for helping to bring green taxes into the mainstream ('A wicked way for Labour to turn the tax tables', 29 July). It's obviously an idea whose time has come, but the danger for Labour is that the Lib Dems are already promoting green taxes, and even the Tories will soon wake up to their potential for lowering income tax while cleaning up the environment.

Illustrative studies in the US have shown the large revenue-

raising potential of such taxes - more than dollars 100bn ( pounds 53bn) could be raised from just eight taxes on, for example, fossil fuels, hazardous wastes, CFCs, pesticides and groundwater depletion - according to the Worldwatch Institute.

Of course, Labour would have to work out appropriate ways of dealing with the redistributive effects of these radical tax changes, but that's something Chris and John Smith should relish.

Yours sincerely,


London, SW11

30 July