A majority of companies support the implementation of a carbon tax.

National Treasury held a carbon tax stakeholder consultation last Friday 1 November at the Energy Research Council, University of Cape Town. The event was attended by members of government, business, civil society and labour.

Cecil Morden, chief director: Economic Tax Analysis, gave feedback on the responses National Treasury received on the carbon tax policy paper and the way forward.

“More than half of the 115 responses received gave either outright or qualified support for the carbon tax, and only 6% expressed unqualified opposition to the tax,” says Robbie Louw, director at Promethium Carbon, a carbon advisory firm.

Morden highlighted that Treasury is giving careful consideration to the comments received, and that the focus will remain on simplification and clarification of the carbon tax, without compromising the basic principles and design.

The proposed timelines for the implementation of the tax is still consistent with the 2015 timelines indicated by the Minister of Finance in his 2013 budget speech. Morden indicated that if there is slippage in the timeframes, it will not be significant.

Louw adds: “The discussions were constructive, with business and government both looking to find common ground.”