For Peat’s sake - are you ready for gardening tax?
You would think people would have had enough of tax by now, what with the recent IFS report estimating that the 2011 tax changes will cost every UK household over £600 a year. But some enthusiastic souls are now lobbying for a new tax. On gardening.
The RSPB and some environmental types have issued a press release today demanding a tax on peat. That’s right, they want your compost to cost £1 more per average bag.
According to the proponents of the peat tax, the market for peat based compost in the UK is responsible for 630,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year – the equivalent of an extra 300,000 cars on our roads. But presumably a bag of peat can’t drive you from London to Edinburgh. Or impress girls. Or play your latest CD.
Government attempts to phase out peat use over the past ten years have failed, although there is now no actual peat extraction in the UK. We are bogless. The majority of peat sold in the UK is imported from Ireland and Baltic countries. And apparently they aren’t happy about it.
Catherine O’Connell, Chief Executive of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council, said: “Our bogs need your levy. Irish peat bogs are being torn apart to supply British gardeners with their bags of peat compost.” Or they could just not sell it to us.
Money raised through the levy could provide vital funding for the restoration of damaged peat bogs across the UK. Good news for butterflies and birds, less exciting for UK gardeners.