Government 'green tax con' costs families £500

Families already struggling with their finances are paying £500 more in green taxes than is necessary, researchers have claimed.

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Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance found that environmental taxes designed to offset Britain's greenhouse emissions are far in excess of the actual cost.

In a book entitled Let Them Eat Carbon, Sinclair suggests that Government ministers are merely using the levies as an excuse to take more money from cash-strapped householders.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the social cost of greenhouse emissions in the UK amounts to £16.9 billion (an estimate that Mr Sinclair suggests is already too high).

Yet domestic green taxes, minus road levies and Air Passenger Duty, totalled £30 billion last year, which means taxpayers are forking out roughly £13 billion, that's £500 per family, in excess levies.

Green taxes, which energy campaigners say make up a fifth of your household electricity bill, are used to partially fund wind farms, solar panels and environmentally-friendly heating schemes.

But Mr Sinclair warned that much of the money goes to a "bewildering range of special interests" as climate change becomes "big business".

"Ordinary families are paying a heavy price for the attempts politicians are making to control greenhouse gas emissions," he writes.

"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."

A Treasury spokesman insisted green taxes would continue to rise but added: "We have also taken action to ease the burden, so taxes on fuel are 6p a litre lower".

What do you think - do you resent paying green taxes or are you happy to do your bit for the environment? Leave a comment below...