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Call for tax breaks on reduced gas emissions

CHANCELLOR GORDON Brown should make up for a 1% rise in employer national insurance contributions with tax breaks for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, materials producers said this week.

The Construction Products Association wrote to Brown ahead of his autumn prebudget statement. It said that cash raised from the climate change levy for pollutant emissions should no longer bolster the national insurance pot.

At present the money goes towards keeping National Insurance payments down.

But this will change next year when the government increases the NI levy on employers by 1% to fund investment in hospitals.

In a letter to Brown, CPA president Roy Harrison expresses anger at the lack of consultation ahead of the decision to impose the National Insurance hike.

'We are disappointed that in the last two years the pre-budget report has become a second Budget Statement rather than a consultation document on proposed measures - something we believe it was originally intended to be, ' he writes.

'The totally unexpected and unwelcome announcement in this year's Spring Budget of the increase in national insurance contributions was not something on which the government had at any time sought the views of industry, and yet it was by far the most significant and damaging measure announced in the last Budget, ' says the letter.

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