OECD Papers

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OECD Papers provides access to a collection of substantive papers not published as books or articles in other OECD series or journals. All subjects are covered, from the latest OECD research on macroeconomics and economic policies, to work in areas as varied as employment, education, environment, trade, science and technology, development and taxation. OECD Papers are available on a subscription basis. Now a part of the OECD Journal

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Volume 5, Issue 5 You do not have access to this content

Publication Date :
03 Oct 2005

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  03 Oct 2005 Click to Access:  The Window of Opportunity

The national referendum on the introduction of a distance-related fee for heavy goods vehicles (HVF) was one of the most controversial referenda Switzerland has ever seen. This is not surprising inasmuch as the HVF was considered as a new tax affecting – at least indirectly – almost all citizens. What is astonishing, at least at first sight, is the fact that a clear majority of 57% voted in favour of the new fee. The question is why a population which is neither fond of new taxes nor known for being particularly progressive accepted a new fee.

The present study tries to highlight the reasons for the outcome of the vote. The study is part of an OECD-wide project on how obstacles to the introduction of economic instruments that could promote sustainable development have been overcome. It is a project undertaken under the auspices of the OECD’s "Joint Meetings of Tax and Environment Experts" which mainly comprise delegates from the Ministries of Finance and the Environment in member countries. The project aims to obtain a clearer picture of both the drivers that helped to facilitate the introduction of the fee and those that could have prevented it. In addition, the case study is to evaluate the economic efficiency and the environmental effectiveness of the fee.

  03 Oct 2005 Click to Access:  Manure Policy and MINAS
This paper discusses the manure policy in the Netherlands with emphasis on the N and P
accounting system MINAS. MINAS was introduced by the Netherlands’ government in 1998, to step-wise decrease the N and P surpluses at farm level in 5 to 10 years to environmental acceptable levels (e.g. Henkens and Van Keulen, 2001). Individual farms that exceed certain levy-free surpluses for N and P (expressed in kg per ha per year) are charged with a financial levy, so as to encourage farmers to decrease the N and P surpluses. Whilst the use of nutrient balances in agricultural research has a history of at least one century, using nutrient balances with levies on surpluses as an instrument to ecologically transform agriculture had no precedent.
  03 Oct 2005 Click to Access:  The United Kingdom Climate Change Levy
This report focuses on one environmental instrument which is part of the UK’s wider programme of policies to deal with its various obligations to control climate change. The instrument is the Climate Change Levy (CCL) which takes the form of a tax on energy. However, the CCL cannot be viewed in isolation – it is part of a fairly elaborate package of measures, and its interaction with the other instruments in that package need to be understood. Accordingly, we first set out a brief history of the UK’s approach to climate change control, and describe the various components of the policy package. A detailed history of the CCL is then provided, and this is followed by an analysis of the features of the CCL, focusing particularly on the political factors that influenced its design, and the various reactions to it. Finally, we look at the likely future of the CCL in light of developments in climate change policy in the wider Europe.
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