Letter: Budget takes tentative green steps

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Government's moves on domestic energy are disappointing in what was hyped to be a "green" first Budget ("A disappointingly pale shade of green", 3 July).

If the Government is serious about its commitment to carbon dioxide reductions - by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010 - announced to such acclaim in New York last week, the necessary fiscal policies are needed now.

Instead by reducing domestic energy costs the Chancellor is encouraging energy consumption not energy efficiency - adding to our carbon dioxide emission burden and making job creation in the labour-intensive energy- efficiency sector more difficult.

Labour has previously called for and supported moves to reduce VAT on energy efficient materials in line with the VAT on domestic energy. Yesterday was their opportunity to demonstrate their commitment and yet the Chancellor opted not to take it.

Action, not a wider review, is required to address the UK's carbon dioxide emissions and meet our climate change responsibilities. The Chancellor's first Budget takes tentative first steps where bolder ones were promised and needed.

ROBIN PELLEW

Director

WWF-UK

Godalming, Surrey

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