News Articles

Dutch now pay world's highest rate of environmental taxes

Danes drop to second spot

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - The Dutch pay the highest environmental taxes in the world, reports the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Taxes on fuel, energy, waste and other 'green' matters in the Netherlands represent nearly 4.5 percent of its Gross National Product or nearly 27 billion euros in 2008, overtaking Denmark for the top spot. Noteworthy as well is the gap between the Netherlands on the one hand and on the other Germany, Belgium and France, where environmental levies amount to scarcely 2 percent of GNP.

In the Second Chamber of parliament, the conservatives liberal VVD and Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) loathe the dubious champion's title. They partly blame the legacy on Jacqueline Cramer, the former Environment Minister of Labour (PvdA), who introduced the packaging tax and the air tax.

The Christian Democrats and Labour, who were cabinet coalition partners during Cramer's time in office, while acknowledging the extent of many green taxes, also point out taxes on income and labour are relatively low. According to Labour, the result is low unemployment and a relatively very clean country.