France unveils carbon tax?

Says Nature. Well, good, is my first reaction. It is set at €17 (and phased in) whereas €40 was apparently the minimum considered worthwhile. Furthermore “the plan is to phase in higher carbon prices over time, but Sarkozy failed to give further details” so we’ll have to see. More from the beeb: “It will apply to households as well as enterprises, but not to the heavy industries and power firms included in the EU’s emissions trading scheme.” Hmm, tricky. Taxing them twice would be bad. But so are exemptions. I’m not sure I’d trust the EU trading scheme to be sane.

As to the reactions: “Mr Sarkozy insists the new tax is all about persuading the French to change their habits and cut energy consumption, the BBC’s Emma Jane Kirby reports from Paris… Critics say it is just a ploy to boost ailing state finances… Two-thirds of French voters say they are opposed to the new levy, fearing they will struggle to pay higher bills. ” Oh well, nothing new there.

Comments

  1. #1 David B. Benson
    2009/09/16

    The French ecomony is beyond (my) comprehension. Lots of govenment supported services and low taxes? Duhhh…

  2. #2 Georg Hoffmann
    2009/09/17

    William
    the tax is 100% reimbursed. There tax cuts or (if you dont pay taxes) checks that compensate the carbon tax in principle to 100% (a family in an urban area gets a tax cut of 79 Euro with 23 Euros per kid. That is the compensation for about 7 Tons for a “standard” family.
    I made my little computation and we will make a benefit of aboout 50 Euros per year. Hurraaaa!
    http://www.scienceblogs.de/primaklima/2009/09/frankreich-fuhrt-die-co2-besteuerung-ein-wie-wer-warum.php

    [Hey, I didn't know you blogged! And for "us" too. Great. Now all I need to do is learn German, which I was half inclined to do anyway.

    When you say compensated... do you mean, from within the existing tax system, or that there will be extra added on now? Is that what Mr Sarkozy said revenues from the new tax would be ploughed back into taxpayers' pockets through cuts in other taxes and "green cheques". means. But in that case (as long as the rebates are flat-rate rather than per-income) it is still good -W]

  3. #4 Georg Hoffmann
    2009/09/22

    Hi William
    waiting for your first comment on my blog in German!

    My understanding was, that the reimbursement for tax payers is by a tax reduction of the “normal” tax. If you dont have to pay taxes since you are not working or you have 10 kids then you get a check. At least thats what I have read. When it comes to taxes even ten years living in France is not enough to understand the subtilities.
    If you are Mr “Perfect-Average” nothing happens. And if you live like these guys you make a benefit:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUuLjmnM3Zw

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