NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 4, 2007

In the United Kingdom, green taxes are being used by the government to raise revenues, rather than tackle climate change; are bad news for consumers and are socially unjust, says the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA), a British organization that promotes low taxes.

According to TPA:

  • The social cost of the U.K.'s carbon dioxide emissions should equal about £11.7 billion (about U.S. $23.5 billion) per year; but the treasury raises almost twice as much from green taxes.
  • The major area of "overcharging" is fuel duty, which raises almost £20 billion (about U.S. $40.2 billion) every year, over and above the amount spent on roads.
  • Other unfair taxes include the climate change levy (unfair to Northern businesses), landfill tax (likely to be imposed in addition to council tax), air passenger duty and emissions trading schemes.

Overall, in many cases, green taxes are failing to meet their objectives, are set at a level in excess of that needed to meet the social cost of Britain's CO2 emissions and are causing serious harm to areas of the country and industries least able to cope, says TPA. Green taxes should not be seen as a benign alternative to taxation of income and profits. Plans for new green taxes need a serious rethink.

Source: Lucy Sherriff, "Green taxes are a rip off says low tax lobby group," The Register, September 3, 2007.

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