Policy review MIA\Vamil 2017-2021, viewed from 2011-2021

CE Delft was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat) to analyse the effectiveness and efficiency of the Environmental Investment Deduction (MIA) \ Voluntary Depreciation on Environmental Investment (VAMIL) in the period 2017-2021.

MIA and Vamil are tax schemes established by the government to contribute to the achievement of environmental goals through innovation. The aim of the schemes is to guide investment decisions toward environmental technologies that achieve above-market environmental gains and are ahead of the market. Our evaluation is based on a literature review of the effectiveness of different types of environmental subsidies, a data analysis of MIA / Vamil applications, a survey of applicants, and 15 case studies of techniques on the Environmental List (Milieulijst).

When combined, the evaluation methodology adopted reveals that MIA / Vamil contributes to environmental goals and is therefore effective, but that the effectiveness is constrained by the occurrence of free-riders. When the effectiveness (‘bang for the buck’) of MIA / Vamil is calculated in terms of induced environmental [1] investments (outcome), 1 euro of funding via MIA / Vamil elicits¬† 6 to over 11 euros of environmental investments. This can be considered effective. The effectiveness of MIA / Vamil in terms of environmental gain (impact) cannot be quantified, which makes it impossible to compare it with the effectiveness of other schemes.

This study analysed the fiscal manageability of MIA and Vamil as tax schemes. Use was also made of the Assessment Framework for Fiscal Arrangements (Toetsingskader Fiscale Regelingen). It appears that MIA / Vamil meets most of the criteria in the assessment framework.  The only question that cannot be answered unequivocally with a yes is the choice of a tax subsidy (rather than a direct subsidy): more research is needed for this.

There are three recommendations from this study:

  • Recommendation 1: stricter updating of Environmental List
  • Recommendation 2: further research into the optimal instrument design
  • Recommendation 3: integrate the application process.

The study was sent to the Lower House on 14 September 2023.