Skip to content

Britain’s ‘Green Tax Con’ That Is Costing Families £500

Every household is paying £500 more than they should in green taxes, researchers claim. Their figures show that environmental taxes hit £41billion last year as family finances came under great strain.

They say ministers are using the levies as an excuse to take more money from the taxpayer.

In a hard-hitting book called Let them eat carbon, Matthew Sinclair argues that environmental levies are excessive compared with the harms they are meant to address.

The director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that after road levies (£9.2billion) and Air Passenger Duty (£2.1billion) are taken out of the equation, total domestic green taxes were £30billion last year.

Yet according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the social cost of greenhouse emissions was £16.9billion.

This means that around £13billion in excess green levies were levied on taxpayers – the equivalent of £500 a family.

Mr Sinclair warned that this figure was likely to be too low because the Government estimate of the social cost per ton of carbon dioxide is itself considered too high.

Mr Sinclair said environmental levies represented a critical new threat to family finances.

Green taxes are used to subsidise wind farms, solar panels and environmentally friendly heating schemes

He claimed that much of the money raised in green taxes goes straight into the pockets of a ‘bewildering range of special interests’ and warned climate change had become ‘big business’.

His book says: ‘Ordinary families are paying a heavy price for the attempts politicians are making to control greenhouse gas emissions.

‘Unfortunately, there is precious little evidence that the various schemes and targets that make up climate change policy are actually an efficient way of cutting emissions.

‘They don’t represent good value and the public are right to be sceptical.’ Energy campaigners say green taxes, which are supposed to help save the planet, make up a fifth of household electricity bills.

The taxes are used to subsidise more wind farms, solar panels and environmentally friendly heating schemes.

Last month, MPs on the environmental audit committee called on the Government to ‘put its money where its mouth is’ and use receipts from fuel and aircraft duties to improve public transport.

A Treasury spokesman said the Government would continue to increase green taxes.

‘The Government is committed to being the greenest ever and will increase the proportion of tax revenue accounted for through environmental taxes,’ she added.

‘But we have also taken action to ease the burden, so taxes on fuel are 6p a litre lower. Diversifying our economy away from imported fossil fuels will also mean greater energy security and be a spur to jobs and growth.’

Motorists have been hit with a record £27billion in fuel duties over the past year. A petition calling for the tax to be frozen is among the most popular on a new Government website.

Daily Mail, 15 August 2011