German ecotax law "back on track"

Parliamentary committee approves bill after parties compromise over power station tax exemptions

A draft law to introduce stage two of Germany's ecological tax reform programme will be voted on later this week by the full Bundestag, or lower parliamentary house, after the governing coalition patched up a last minute row on Friday. The bill is designed to introduce new taxes on energy products and raise existing tax rates from next January (ENDS Daily 26 August). The SPD and Green party fell out over the measure last week over an SPD attempt to limit a proposed exemption from existing mineral oil taxes for the most efficient gas-fired power stations, which had been demanded by the Greens (ENDS Daily 4 November). Both participants in the negotiations and the German press described the last minute hitch as a serious crisis for the whole ecological tax reform. In the event, the parties patched up their differences and on Friday put forward a compromise proposal under which combined cycle gas power stations achieving over 57.5% will be exempt from mineral oil tax. This enabled the Bundestag's finance committee to give the measure a final vote before passing it onto the whole house.

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German Bundestag, tel: +49 30 2270.

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