Farming Foot’s small environmental tax bill despite its large footprint

ONLY 1.4 percent of the green taxes levied last year came from agriculture, despite the sector being the country’s biggest carbon polluter.

Households bore the heaviest burden, paying 58 percent – or €2.8 billion of the €4.8 billion – in environmental taxes the state collected in 2021.

However, farmers only paid 70 million euros despite being responsible for 36 percent of the national greenhouse gas emissions.

Households are directly responsible for about 17 percent of national emissions.

Even taking into account that they are also responsible for a large part of transport-related emissions, accounting for 18 percent of the national figure, the high proportion of taxes paid by households is still striking.

The second largest chunk was collected from the service industry, which paid €1.4 billion, or 28 percent of total environmental taxes.

Other industries together paid 600 million euros or a share of 12 percent.

The numbers were compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and come as agriculture remains the main obstacle to agreeing sectoral carbon reduction targets.

Under the terms of the Climate Law, the government is legally required to set national carbon budgets and individual sectoral caps, but the process is being held up by disputes over the size of the cuts agriculture will accept.

Figures show that energy taxes such as the carbon tax on fossil fuels, excise taxes on oil and gasoline, the public service obligation (PSO) levy and the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy were by far the largest source of revenue for environmental taxes 3, 1 billion euros or 64 percent of the total.

Within this category, the carbon tax, which has increased annually in recent years, recorded the largest increase, generating 301 million euros in 2011 and 659 million euros last year.

Transport taxes, mainly vehicle registration and vehicle taxes, air travel tax and the National Car Test levy, contributed €1.7 billion, or about 36 percent.

Pollution and resource taxes, such as plastic bag and landfill taxes, generated €13 million, or 0.3 percent of the total.

Revenue from the plastic bag levy has fallen to a quarter of what it was 10 years ago, the figures show.

This illustrates the significant impact a levy can have on changing consumer habits towards more sustainable practices.

The government is currently facing opposition to plans to introduce a similar levy on single-use coffee cups.

Similar to the shopping bag levy, the so-called “latte toll” is intended to promote the use of reusable containers, in this case durable cups.

The aim is to reduce garbage, waste, pollution and the carbon emissions associated with plastics made from fossil fuels.

The plastic bag tax was introduced in 2002 at a price of 15 cents per bag. In the first 10 years of its existence, it brought in 170 million euros.

However, CSO data shows that total revenue fell to 100 million euros from 2011 to 2021, even though the fee per bag rose to 22 cents in 2007.

On an annual basis, tax revenues have fallen from 16 million euros in 2001 to 4 million euros in 2021.

That still means around 18 million new plastic grocery bags were used last year, but compared to the estimated 1.2 billion used annually before the levy.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/farming-foots-small-environmental-tax-bill-despite-huge-footprint-41835720.html Farming Foot’s small environmental tax bill despite its large footprint

Fry Electronics Team

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