Energy taxes and emission permits get mixed response from business

A consultation paper on economic instruments and the business use of energy was issued by an official task force in June. Most business responses are predictably hostile to the idea of an energy tax - but with industry deeply divided over how permits under an emission trading regime might be allocated and little convincing evidence that trading could curb carbon dioxide emissions within the next few years, the case for a tax has not diminished. Tax exemptions for heavy industry and the best ways of recycling the revenues are other major issues in dispute.

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