3 March 1998
JohnTownend MP (Con. East Yorkshire)
On the proposition that "green taxes" can be popular because not only do they raise money for the Government, they also help protect the environment.
When there was the big row over the introduction of VAT on fuel I went to see Norman Lamont, Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Chairman of the Conservative Back Bench Finance Committee representing back benchers, and I was surprised that Norman was so pleased with himself, and he said: This is a marvellous tax, John, it is an environmental tax, it will help us to fulfill all obligations under the Rio agreement it should please all the environmentalists and at the same time well get lots of money, and I said Norman, thats for the birds. As soon as this is announced youll upset all the old age pensioners but you wont see an environmentalist for dust.
Reply to John Townend