Tags: France | tax | carbon | plan

France Scuttles Controversial Carbon Tax

Tuesday, 23 Mar 2010 08:43 AM

PARIS — France is to abandon its planned carbon fuel tax which aimed to curb global warming, members of parliament quoted the prime minister as saying on Tuesday.

A tax would have to be introduced at a European level in order "not to harm the competitiveness of French companies," Francois Fillon was quoted as saying by several MPs of the governing UMP party who attended a meeting with him.

The carbon tax would have made France the first big economy to tax harmful carbon emissions, aiming to encourage French consumers to stop wasting energy.

The government was forced to amend it after its proposals were rejected by the high court in December, days before it was to kick in -- an embarrassing setback for President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The court ruled then that too many exemptions created inequalities and unfairly placed the burden of cuts on a minority of consumers.

Its ruling prompted the government to respond with fresh safeguards for businesses, but Fillon on Tuesday stressed the risk of a competitive disadvantage to them if the tax were introduced only in France.

Speaking after the UMP was badly beaten in regional elections seen as a punishment vote for Sarkozy, Fillon said the government's reform priorities were "growth, jobs, competitiveness and fighting deficits," the MPs told AFP.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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PARIS — France is to abandon its planned carbon fuel tax which aimed to curb global warming, members of parliament quoted the prime minister as saying on Tuesday.
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2010-43-23
Tuesday, 23 Mar 2010 08:43 AM
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