Lib Dems and Tories clash over bag tax proposal in England

By: By Anthony Clark

March 12, 2013

LONDON — The Liberal Democrats have called for a 5 pence (8 U.S. cent) plastic bag tax for England to be included in next week's budget despite concerns about the likely impact on jobs.

George Osborne, however, is against the measure according to Amber Rudd, the Tory member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye, who said her party's ministers wanted to cut plastic bag use without imposing a levy.

The idea for the green tax was presented to the Liberal Democrats' annual conference by its House of Lords environment spokeswoman, Baroness Parminter of Godalming, who said there was growing support for a duty on so-called single-use carrier bags in England follow the success of a similar move in Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

"We would favor something along the Welsh lines of a 5p charge, going up to a maximum of 10p, and encouraging the supermarkets to give the money to local charities and community food projects," she said.