HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc433-4W
Mr. Gibb

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to exempt horticulture from the climate change levy. [102988]

Mr. Timms

The Government believe that all sectors of the economy must play their part in helping tackle the problem of climate change. So there will not be complete exemptions from the climate change levy for particular firms or sectors. However, like other sectors, firms in the horticulture sector will be able to take advantage of the proposed exemptions from the levy for electricity generated from 'new' forms of renewable energy and in 'good quality' combined heat and power plants, and the enhanced capital allowances for firms making energy saving investments. All sectors will also benefit from the lower overall rates for the levy announced by the Chancellor in his Pre-Budget Report.

Mr. Stunell

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of(a) the projected receipts from the climate change levy and (b) the projected level of national insurance refunds in each of the Government standard regions; and if he will make a statement. [102861]

Mr. Timms

The climate change levy is designed to be revenue neutral for the private sector as a whole, with all the revenues raised being fully recycled back to business through a cut in employers' National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and additional support for energy efficiency measures. The levy package is also expected to be broadly neutral between manufacturing and services.

It is not possible to say what the exact final impact of the levy package on specific regions will be. That will depend on a number of factors, including the future energy consumption of firms in the region, the level of employment in those firms, the number of energy intensive sectors in the region that are eligible to receive a discount on the main rates of the levy by signing up to an energy efficiency agreement, what use firms in the region make of electricity generated from 'new' renewable sources of energy and in 'good quality' combined heat and power plants, and the extent to which firms in the region take advantage of the proposed introduction of a system of enhanced capital allowances for energy saving investments.