Eco taxes: British families pay £400 more than their carbon footprint

British families pay £400 more green taxes than cost of their carbon footprint

Each British family is paying £400 more in green taxes than it would cost to cover their carbon footprint, a new study has revealed.

Billions of pounds are being raised each year with little or no rewards for environmentally friendly consumers.

In 2005, green taxes raised £21.9 billion, yet the social cost of that year’s carbon emissions was just £11.7billion, says a report from the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

‘We need more honesty about the costs of extra green taxes when British taxpayers already pay some of the highest pollution charges in the world,’ spokesperson for the group Matthew Elliott tells the Metro newspaper.

In fact, a survey carried out by YouGov for the group found that only a fifth of people think politicians are genuinely trying to change behaviour using the tax system, and 63% believe the Government is using the issue to bump up their bank balance.

Meanwhile, accountants UHY Hacker Young found that the Governmant only gives back 2% in tax breaks of the money it collects through environmental taxes.

The Treasury receives around £29.3 billion a year in green taxes, including £25.1 billion in fuel duties and £2.1 billion in air passenger duty, but gives a comparatively meagre £254 million back in lower vehicle excise duty for people who drive environmentally friendly cars.

Dave Timms, from Friends of the Earth, said: ‘The Government could make greater use of tax breaks so it’s cheaper and easier for people to go green, while also increasing environmental spending.’

A Treasury spokeswoman reputed both studies and defended the Government, saying: ‘As a result of measures introduced , the UK is one of a few countries on course to meet its Kyoto commitments. By 2010 we will have met it almost twice over – cutting greenhouse gases by more than 20%.’

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