More consultation promised as final touches are put to new carbon tax paper

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The National Treasury will release a revised carbon tax discussion paper in early December, deputy director-general of economic policy and international financial relations Ismail Momoniat has confirmed.

Addressing a recent carbon tax debate in Gauteng, Momoniat said the new document would take account of the 80 public comments received in response to the first discussion paper, which was released in December 2010.

The first round of comments indicated that the National Treasury needed to be more sector specific in its approach to the possible introduction of a tax designed to reduce South Africa’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

The new paper was also likely to show more sensitivity to the need to sustain South Africa’s economic competitiveness and would explore the extent to which it could be “revenue neutral”.

“We are looking at thresholds, we are looking at offsets and we are looking at support measures, such as subsidies,” Momoniat revealed.

Further comments would be sought after the publication of the new document and a “transparent and consultative process” would be pursued ahead of the introduction of any possible tax.

“Normally when we actually impose a tax, we announce it on Budget day. And even then, you can make comments and it is taken to Parliament, where there is further opportunity to comment,” he assured, arguing that there would be “ample time” to make input.

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