It’s sometimes thought that tax is complex. And sometimes it is. And that’s why many people misunderstand a lot about taxation. But it does not always need to be so.
It’s my suggestion that we need to use Tax to Save the Environment (TASTE). Let me start with a simple example of something we could do now.
We now know that there is a massive problem with methane created by cattle, sheep and (to a somewhat lesser degree) goats. There is a way to address this issue in the UK. We could put VAT on all food the products that are created from them. We can do this now. VAT on food is allowed under EU law. And it would work: it would shift pricing and so reorientate people towards other products, of which there are many that are available.
I know this would be controversial: I am aware that the big problem would be around milk. The rate of tax on milk might then be open to discussion. On everything else standard rate VAT should be applied now, in my opinion.
And to ensure hardship does not result revenue raised must be matched by the allocation of additional funds to benefits.
This is simple, possible, and achievable now.
It’s the first Tax to Save The Environment. There will be more.