The Government may have made embarrassing u-turns on their proposed Cornish pasty tax and static Caravan tax, but it seems the Lib Dems are not going to let them back down on their proposed plastic bag tax in England, as they vote to ‘bolster their weaponry’ against the Treasury’s resistance.
The party backed a motion at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, to impose a levy on all single-use plastic carrier bags, suggesting that the proceeds go towards community food initiatives. The idea was ‘supported’ by the former Conservatory environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, but the Lib Dems claim it came up against Treasury resistance, something that the Treasury deny.
A source from the Treasury said, “All ideas are on the table, and the Lib Dems know that”, but a spokesperson for the Lib Dem policy, Andrew George, said “We have seen some indications of support coming out of Number 10” but “It has always been over-ruled by the Treasury.” He continued, “We have only one remaining log jam and we need to keep firing the most effective weaponry at it and making it quite clear that this issue will not go away.”
Pushing for a carrier bag levy of between 5p and 10p per bag, the Lib Dems believe the charge has “got to be sufficient to make people think hard before going out shopping, planning in advance, and taking reusable carrier bags with them where they can” and that we should make good use of the many environmentally alternatives available.
The Lib Dems believe that the success of the Irish and Welsh carrier bag levies show that, “Behaviour is changing, but it seems to be that the political will isn’t there to tip things in the right direction.” So while our Cornish pasties and caravans may remain tax-free (for now), it looks as though we will be paying for our plastic carrier bags, and sooner than we had hoped!