15 December 2005 NEW INQUIRY

Pre-Budget 2005

15 December 2005 NEW INQUIRY

Pre-Budget 2005

The Environmental Audit Committee is launching today an inquiry on the Treasury's latest Pre-Budget Report - Britain meeting the global challenge:  Enterprise, fairness and responsibility (Cm 6701, December 2005).   This continues the tradition it has established since its inception of examining the progress which the Treasury is making against the Statement of Intent on Environmental Taxation (July 1997) and the extent to which it is placing the environment at the heart of its fiscal policies. 

The Committee would welcome views from organisations or individuals on this inquiry.   It is particularly interested in:

• how the Treasury's environmental fiscal strategy could be improved (including the adequacy and effectiveness with which all new budgetary measures are appraised and existing economic instruments are monitored); and

• in the context of the Stern review, the adequacy of conventional economic analysis (including the role of monetarisation, and the use of discounting) as a means of evaluating the long-term environmental impacts of climate change (see notes).

It would also welcome comments on any other aspect of  the Pre-Budget Report and associated documents which are relevant.

Written evidence should be sent to the Committee by 23 January 2006, by e-mail to eacom@parliament.uk and in WORD format.   A brief guidance note on the preparation and submission of evidence is available on the Committee's web pages.  For further information on the this inquiry, please telephone 020-7219-1378.

Notes for Editors

1. Details of all the Committee's press releases and inquiries, together with its Reports, oral evidence and other publications, are available on the Committee's Internet homepage.

2. The Stern review of the economics of climate change was announced on 19 July 2005.   More details can be found at:  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

3. The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has previously expressed concern about evaluating in financial terms the costs of climate change.   See EAC, Ninth Report of 2002-03, Budget 2003 and Aviation, HC 672, paragraphs 53 to 67; and especially EAC, Eighth Report of 2004-05, Pre-Budget 2004 and Budget 2005:  Tax, Appraisal and the Environment, HC 261, paragraphs 78 to 83. These can be accessed in the Reports and Publications section of the EAC website.