Labour takes serious look at green taxes

A working group to examine the role of economic instruments in environmental policy has been set up by the Labour Party. The move could bring environmental considerations to the heart of Labour's taxation policy because of its desire to shed its image as the party of high income tax.

The group's establishment is the latest and possibly most important step in Labour's changing stance towards using economic instruments in environmental policy. Until recently, the party disdained them as the inventions of rampant free marketeers.

The conversion began at the end of the 1980s, and by the 1992 general election Labour had committed itself to a number of market mechanisms. These included the graduation of vehicle excise duty

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