Opinion regarding the three "Energy Initiatives" differs greatly among political factions. A philosophical debate has been sparked between those who believe in and support the idea that taxation influences consumer tendencies and those who refute the idea that governmentally implemented tax schemes have any influence at all on consumer practices. The three "Energy Initiatives" are as follows:
1. The "Energy Taxation for the Environment" foresees a maximum tax of 2 centimes per kilowatt-hour on non-recyclable energy sources such as heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, uranium and electricity (not including sun, wind, wood and water-power) which would result in the following price increases:
* Electricity 0, 8 centimes per kilowatt-hour
* Gasoline/Petrol, 18 centimes per litre
* Diesel, 20 centimes per litre
* Heating oil, 20 centimes per litre
* Natural gas, 2 centimes per kilowatt-hour
The taxes would result in about Sfr3 billion which the government would in turn re-distribute in the economy and to the population in the form of a 1.3 per cent reduction in AHV contributions for both employee and employer alike. The idea behind this initiative is to increase incentive to reduce consumption of non-recyclable energy sources, save energy and make recyclable forms of energy more attractive to consumers. Exceptions would be made for sectors characterised by intensive energy use or export-oriented businesses.
2. "Promotion of Recyclable Forms of Energy." An additional tax of 0.3 centimes per kilowatt-hour on non-recyclable forms of energy. However, the roughly Sfr450 million in tax revenue would not flow back into the economy but would be used exclusively for the promotion of recyclable forms of energy, such as solar energy, technology directed at saving energy, such as the so-called "Minergy" houses, and renovation and maintenance of domestic water-power plants. Increases would include:
* Electricity, 0.12 centimes per kilowatt-hour
* Gasoline/Petrol, 2.7 centimes per litre
* Diesel, 2.9 centimes per litre
* Heating oil, 3 centimes per litre
* Natural gas, 0.3 centimes per kilowatt-hour Some economical sectors, such as the paper, cement, glass and metal industries, would be totally or partially exempted from these taxes. This Initiative is the Swiss parliament's alternative proposal to the "Solar Initiative."
3. The "Solar Initiative." This Initiative was submitted by environmental groups and calls for governmentally collected revenue to promote solar energy and other natural energy sources. A tax of 0.5 centimes per kilowatt-hour on non-recyclable forms of energy would result in about Sfr750 million. This money would then be used to provide discounts on building and maintaining solar-energy sources and promoting energy-saving measures.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2000|
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