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Evolution of labour taxes and environmentally related taxes in Flanders

An analysis of the greening of the tax system in Flanders is best done on the basis of a combination of different indicators. These indicators all have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Five types of indicators provide a more complete picture of the greening of the tax system in Flanders:



  • revenue indicators; 
  • tax rate indicators; 
  • ratio of labour taxes to environmentally related taxes; 
  • implicit tax rate on energy and transport and 
  • the National Environmental Tax Index.
The third type of indicator, the ratio of labour taxes to environmentally related taxes, is in fact the combination of two revenue indicators. Revenue indicators measure the revenues generated by the government from a specific tax.



Both Flemish and federal environmental taxes are levied in Flanders.

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D P S I R

Figures

Evolution of revenues from labour taxes and environmentally related taxes with respect to GDP (Flanders, selected European countries and the average value for the EU-27, 1995-2010)

Source: HIVA
Data in Excel.


Progress

High labour taxes and low environmentally related taxes in Flanders



Based on the tax revenues for the period 1995 to 2010, Flanders shows signs of a 'de-greening' of the tax system. The share of environmentally related taxes in gross domestic product (GDP) fell from 2.4 % in 1995 to 2.0 % in 2010. In 2005 their share peaked with 2.5 %. The share of labour taxes in GDP fell slightly from 24.3 % in 1995 to 24.0 % in 2010.



In the majority of countries studied (neighbouring countries, two southern countries and two northern countries in Europe), revenues from environmentally related taxes also fell between 1995 and 2010. The sole exception is the Netherlands. Revenues from labour taxes fell significantly in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, and rose in Italy. They remained more or less stable in the other countries.



In 2010, in the EU-27, the share of labour taxes and environmentally related taxes in GDP was on average 19.7 % and 2.4 % respectively. Compared with the EU-27, Flanders can therefore be said to have high labour taxes and low environmentally related taxes.



European policy



In May 2013 the European Commission published Country-specific Recommendations for the Council for the improvement of economic performance. For the third year in a row, the Commission is calling on Belgium to make efforts to shift taxation away from labour to taxes that are less detrimental to growth, such as environmental taxes.



To date, Flanders has not recorded any shift from tax on labour to environment.

DPSI-R (de verstoringsketen)

De verstoringsketen is een veelgebruikt analysekader in de internationale milieurapportering. De keten schematiseert de oorzaken tot en met de gevolgen van de milieuproblemen.

Schakel 1 Driving forces (Maatschappelijke activiteiten) de onderliggende oorzaken van de milieuproblemen (productie, consumptie, transport, recreatie, enz.)
Schakel 2 Pressure (Druk) de directe oorzaken van de verstoringen brongebruik (energie, water, ruimte, grondstoffen) emissies (lozingen naar lucht, water en bodem, afval)
Schakel 3 State (Toestand) de resulterende toestand in lucht, water en bodem
Schakel 4 Impact (Impact) een inschatting van de negatieve gevolgen van de milieukwaliteit voor mens, natuur en economie
Schakel 5 Response (Respons) het (beleids)antwoord op deze verstoringen

Indicators



DPSIR-chain

The DPSI-R chain is a frequently used analysis framework in international environmental reporting. The DPSI-R chain outlines the causes to the impacts of environmental problems.

Link 1 Driving forces the underlying causes of environmental problems (production, consumption, transportation, recreation, etc.)
Link 2 Pressure the direct causes of the disturbances from resource use (energy, water, space, materials) and emissions (discharges to air, water and soil, waste)
Link 3 State the resulting state in air, water and soil
Link 4 Impact an estimate of the negative effects of the environmental quality for man, nature and economy
Link 5 Response the (policy) response to these disturbances

Indicatoren

positieve evolutie Positieve evolutie, met de doelstelling binnen bereik, of gunstige toestand.
onduidelijke evolutie Geen of beperkte evolutie, maar onvoldoende om de doelstelling te bereiken, of neutrale toestand.
negatieve evolutie Negatieve evolutie, verder weg van de doelstelling, of ongunstige toestand.
onvoldoende informatie beschikbaar Onvoldoende informatie.
De toekenning van smileys is geen exacte wetenschap maar veeleer een expertoordeel. Het 'oormerken' van indicatoren houdt onmiskenbaar het gevaar in van te sterke vereenvoudiging. Daarom wil de smiley de lezer vooral aanzetten om de bijhorende indicatorbeschrijving te lezen.

Indicatoren

positieve evolutie Positieve evolutie, met de doelstelling binnen bereik, of gunstige toestand.
onduidelijke evolutie Geen of beperkte evolutie, maar onvoldoende om de doelstelling te bereiken, of neutrale toestand.
negatieve evolutie Negatieve evolutie, verder weg van de doelstelling, of ongunstige toestand.
onvoldoende informatie beschikbaar Onvoldoende informatie.
De toekenning van smileys is geen exacte wetenschap maar veeleer een expertoordeel. Het 'oormerken' van indicatoren houdt onmiskenbaar het gevaar in van te sterke vereenvoudiging. Daarom wil de smiley de lezer vooral aanzetten om de bijhorende indicatorbeschrijving te lezen.

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