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Sir, Regarding ‘Commission to fight VAT fraud schemes‘: The principle that you can reclaim money when you fill in a tax report is the real cause of the fraudulent situation. It should be replaced with a simple tax on turnover, with no claiming back. Olle Ekengren Private citizen

So far, the only alternative to Cap & Trade schemes seems to be plain taxation of emitted GHG’s. Still, there are several problems associated with taxes: – An expected tax might simply be included in the production price, hence potentially triggering inflation and generating immediate windfall profits for the emitters. – Choosing and measuring emissions… » read more

Carbon taxes will not be the panacea national governments are probably expecting and their challenge for the future will be to use tax policy as an instrument of positive change. Using environmental and green taxation to boost falling tax revenues needs indeed careful planning by government and policy makers. An essential requirement of green taxes… » read more

(This is the fifth of six chapters in Eberhard Rhein’s Malta lecture series.) The technologies for generating low or zero-carbon energy exist. But will they be applied? Not only marginally but at the global scale required to successfully mitigate climate change? That depends essentially on the type of incentives governments offer. Without much higher prices… » read more

Today at the European Business Summit in Brussels a workshop was organized focusing on health entitled “Ageing and health: Pay for the grey”. The distinguished panel included Androulla Vassilliou, European Commissioner for Health, AGE, the European Older People’s platform, and the Japanese ambassador to the EU and last but not least industry representatives. Not surprisingly,… » read more

As far as the budget is concerned, we need to focus primarily not on expenditure but on those aspects of fiscal policy of the Member States which fall under the remit of the EU. The first priority is to eliminate the idea of unanimity- that is to say, the right to veto- in decisions pertaining… » read more

Since the large majority of Europe’s heritage assets are privately owned and public funding for their upkeep is insufficient, the EU Institutions and all Member States need to adopt incentives for private investments in repairing, restoring and maintaining historical buildings and cultural heritage, such as a reduced rate of VAT. In 1999 the European Council… » read more

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