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Carbon Fools: ‘Climate Tax Will Leave Public Sector Worse Off’

Public sector organisations could be forced to pay taxpayer money to private business in heavy penalties under controversial new “green tax” legislation.

The upcoming CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will soon require firms and organisations which are intensive energy users to buy government permits for their carbon emissions.

Revenue will be recycled back to the participants, with financial incentives for the biggest reductions in energy use funded by penalties imposed on those with the worst record.

But there are concerns it will not be a level playing field, as cash-strapped public sector bodies will not be able to afford energy-saving initiatives to compete with business.

The result could be that public sector organisations drop to the bottom of the league table, leading to taxpayers’ cash flowing from bodies such as NHS trusts and local authorities to supermarkets and banks.

“Money from public sector organisations that fall in the bottom half of the table will be returned to those in the top half whether they are commercial or public organisations,” said Rebecca Seabury, of energy analysts Inenco.

How much money would be distributed from the bottom to the top of the table depends on many factors, but some have put the figure in the millions.

The system has prompted the Local Government Association to argue there was an “inherent flaw in treating public and private sector organisations as the same”.

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