Parliament shoots down Commission’s energy tax plan
(EurActiv.com, 20 Apr 12) Conservatives in the European Parliament delivered a setback for European Commission plans to erase tax benefits for diesel fuel, saying that a period of austerity and high fuel costs is not the time for such moves.
MEPS voted 374-217, with 73 abstentions, for an overhaul of the EU executive’s year-old draft energy taxation directive that would require members states to end their practice of taxing diesel fuel at lower rates than gasoline.
The vote also calls for changes to the Commission's proposed minimum carbon tax on emissions from households, farms and the transport industry not already covered under the EU’s Emissions Trading System, the EU's main tool to reduce carbon dioxide pollution.
The Parliament’s recommendations are non-binding. But they lay the groundwork for anticipated changes in the Council of Ministers, where Poland has already blocked moves to impose stronger emission-reductions obligations, and at a time when high fuel prices may tame the political appetite for higher taxes.
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