Make the polluter pay

31 January 2019

Make the polluter pay

Foto: SP

People are annoyed that their energy bills are rising and that they are being chased up to pay the costs of the range of climate change measures which have to be taken. For this reason the SP has proposed an alternative, fairer source of the necessary finance: the major corporations, responsible for 80% of pollution, should pay more tax. Many have spoken about this, but the SP has put forward a concrete proposal, one which we have subjected to analysis by the independent environmental service CE Delft. What does this show? Even a minimal tax on the polluters would mean that 70% of the Dutch population, people on low or middle incomes, would gain.

If the government has its way, energy bills will rise, but big polluters such as Shell will be spared. People will have to take out a bank loan to buy a hot water pump or insulation. The SP rejects these options and has had a fairer variation analysed by the environmental service CE Delft, which showed that even if polluting firms were to pay only an extremely limited CO2 tax, this could have huge advantages for households.

The SP, on the other hand, would make polluting firms pay more, with the income being placed in a Climate Justice Fund, a similar system to that already operating in Canada. The fund can be used to pay for insulating people's houses without their needing to take out expensive loans in order to go over to sustainable and safe energy. Some 800,000 Dutch dwellings could be paid for from this fund over the coming decade.

SP leader Lilian Marijnissen: “This is a just climate policy. With the present policy we are ready to impose costs on people while major corporations once again don't have to pay. Our policy will benefit all of us. Households will see their homes improved and their energy bills diminish. We'll pollute less and meet our climate targets. And the bill will go where it belongs, with the big polluters.”

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