Austrian Re-Use Conference 2019

WIFO budget expert Margit Schratzenstaller talks about fiscal instruments for a circular economy.
In her keynote speech at the Austrian Re-Use Conference 2019, organised by ARGE Abfallvermeidung in Graz, Margit Schratzenstaller presented ideas on fiscal instruments for the promotion of a circular economy. She pointed out the potential of tax measures to contribute to the reduction of resource consumption and waste and to the promotion of repairs and recycling within the framework of a comprehensive mix of instruments.

According to Margit Schratzenstaller, the transition to a circular economy has two main objectives. Firstly, the future availability of limited resources should be secured in view of a growing world population and economy. Secondly, environmental damage from resource extraction and use, including greenhouse gas emissions and other types of pollution, resource depletion, soil degradation, and loss of biodiversity, should be mitigated. Fiscal instruments could address the four phases of a circular economy: resource extraction, production, use, and recycling. In particular, taxes on resource extraction and waste, which currently play a negligible role in Austria and internationally, should be increasingly used in the future. The additional revenues could be used to reduce other taxes, in particular the high taxes on labour.

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