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Survey: Majority Of Britons Oppose Green Energy Taxes

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Glen Owen, Mail on Sunday

Nearly two-thirds of voters oppose planned hikes in green taxes – and back David Cameron to ‘roll back’ the levies.

A total of 60 per cent of voters object to the charges, which will hit households with an extra £270 per year on their energy bills by 2020. Just 18 per cent support the taxes.

The findings, in a Survation poll, come after a week in which double-digit hikes by the energy companies dominated debate at Westminster. 

The row over heating bills was galvanised last month when Ed Miliband pledged to freeze bills for two years after the next Election if he becomes Prime Minister.

But our survey reveals Mr Cameron’s promise last week to cut the levies is backed by more people (40 per cent) than Mr Miliband’s freeze (33 per cent). And only seven per cent back Mr Clegg.

The public seem sceptical about whether Mr Miliband’s freeze is workable: a majority, 54 per cent, think the energy companies will just hike their prices before or after the freeze to compensate for lost revenues.

The Mail on Sunday poll shows 61 per cent support for Mr Cameron’s move, against just 11 per cent who want to keep the taxes in place.

The energy firms say the compulsory levies –  such as the £33 which the typical family pays each year in subsidies for wind farms and solar parks – have contributed to their price rises.

Last week ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major warned surging bills meant that millions of people would face a choice between ‘heating and eating’ this winter.

A total of 38 per cent of those asked by Survation said they have already had to cut back on essential purchases such as food to afford their heating bills.

This rises to 56 per cent of those in the poorest social groups. If extrapolated to the nation at large, it would mean 19 million people have had to choose between ‘heating and eating’.

It is clear from the poll who voters blame for the hikes: 59 per cent cite the firms while just 15 per cent blame the Government.

The same proportion blames the last Labour Government.

The poll has Labour on 35 per cent, the Tories 29, the Lib Dems on 12 and UKIP 17.

Survation interviewed 1,000 people on Friday.

… but new Energy Bill subsidy pledge means costs WILL rise

Electricity costs are still certain to rise massively over the next seven years to pay for the shift to renewable energy – even if David Cameron succeeds in his plan to trim green levies, writes David Rose.

The reason is the new Energy Bill which commits Britain to colossal increases in subsidies for renewables such as wind and solar power. A Department of Energy and Climate Change document says the subsidies  will rise steadily from about £2.35 billion now to £7.6 billion  in 2020-21.

Energy expert Peter Atherton, of Liberum Capital, says green levies are likely to cost households an average of £400 a year just for electricity – minus mall reductions Mr Cameron hopes to make by trimming the budget for items such as insulation. 

These eye-watering sums are the consequence of Britain’s earlier pledge to cut overall carbon dioxide emissions by 15 per cent by 2020, enshrined in the 2008 Climate Change Act – piloted by then Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.

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