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Farting tax

If you thought the Government had taxed everything possible then think again. Carter you'd better start saving.

Is new tax proposal just hot air?

Forget flat rate taxes, we may soon have a new flatulence rate tax. If the UK follows the suit of countries such as Denmark and Ireland, farmers could be asked to pay according to the number of cattle in their herds.

Ludicrous as it sounds, this would be a direct tax on the gastric emissions of their livestock. There is a very real scientific reasoning underpinning the tax though. A cow can emit up to 4 tonnes of methane per year. By comparison, an average car emits only 2.7 tonnes of the less harmful greenhouse gas CO2 each year. Across the globe, it has been estimated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation that livestock contribute up to 18% of harmful greenhouse gases each year.

In Denmark, campaigners have lobbied for a tax of up to 80 Euro per head of cattle, whereas Ireland's farmers could pay less, around 12 Euro per head. Other countries such as New Zealand and the USA have debated the idea previously.

Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has opposed the proposals. He said the tax would be a "catastrophic mistake" for UK farmers, especially as the amount of home grown produce has been reducing year on year. He suggested that competitors from non-EU countries could capitalise on any increased tax levy.

The aim of the tax would be essentially to raise money for eco-measures. Although wind-farming springs first to mind, the income could be used to create special emission-reducing feed for livestock or, as is being developed in Denmark, special buildings that capture and store gas emitted from animals.

Whatever the aim, and despite the danger of the debate descending into the scatological, it is a very valid point for discussion. If we tax the car user for higher emissions, should we not charge the farmer - and by way of increased prices the consumer - for a more damaging source of pollutants?

Comments

  • Having just read the carrier bag thread, I suggest we tie the excess carriers on the arses of the cattle.
  • IS CL turning into the Daily Mail? ;o)
  • edited March 2009
    This sounds remarkably like an early April fool joke. Should be a belching tax though, the majority of cow methane cones out the front, not the back end.
  • Its only gonna get worse guys...

    with this Carbon being the reason for Global warnming nonsesne (its the sun by the way, check out all the other planets heating up as well, and theres no farting there) we will see taxes on everything from barbecues to talking, to ovens... you name it... just the start...
  • Anyone that's against mass immigration should be very green now. The first thing that'll happen is that the equatorial belt will be uninhabitable. Then we'll be faced with the choice of assimilating or abandoning vast numbers of innocent people.
  • To me I believe there is absolutely nothing that this government of ours wouldn't consider in an attempt to get more money out of decent hard working folk. Perhaps Gordon Brown might like to look closer to home when it comes to gaseous emissions! If this is an April fools joke expect it to be european union policy by 2012.
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