The MP, QC and former leader of HM Opposition, who had been invited as guest speaker, explained that while the Conservative Party is fully behind the aims of the Kyoto agreement, the present Climate Change Levy is a tax on energy consumed by business. It fails to make sufficient distinction between energy produced from low carbon sources and energy produced from high carbon sources and should therefore be replaced by a Carbon Levy, which better distinguishes between high and low carbon production of energy.

He said his successor as Conservative leader, David Cameron, had asked the party’s Quality of Life Policy Group, chaired by John Gummer, and those involved in its energy review to recommend the form that the new Carbon Levy should take, as part of a package of measures to price carbon and to deliver lower carbon emissions across the economy.

He urged the laundry industry, through the TSA, to make sure its voice was heard.

The TSA has consistently argued to the treasury that its members should be a special case and underlining the importance of this concern, chief executive Murray Simpson reminded members and guests that laundry operators were facing over 7% cost increases in wages, distribution and energy.

A full report will appear in the June edition of LCN.