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Country folk paying excess billions in “green” taxes

[Thursday 28 August 2008]

British taxpayers are paying almost £20 billion a year in excess “green taxes “ – and the worst hit are poor people who live in the countryside.

This is the controversial conclusion of a report issued today (August 28) which confirms what many people have long suspected: that the Government is using “green” excuses to impose stealth tax rises to shore up a huge Treasury deficit.

The report comes from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), a right-leaning think tank which has spent months preparing a detailed breakdown of the taxes raised to compensate for alleged carbon emissions which add o global warming.

Under an extraordinarily complex EU initiative known as the IPCC – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - governments are supposed to levy extra taxes on greenhouse gas emissions so that the excess can be used to finance carbon reduction projects.

Green taxes are set far higher than is necessary to pay for our carbon footprint, which loads an unfair burden onto hard pressed British families and businesses

Matthew Sinclair - TaxPayers' Alliance

But according to the TPA, Whitehall is levying a staggering £19.6 billion above our due quota, much of it on road and fuel taxes. And it is people in remote rural areas, who must travel long distances to work or shop, who are bearing an unfair share of the burden.

Says the report: “The burden varies significantly between suburban/rural areas and urban districts. For example, residents of Maldon (in rural Essex) pay £607 per person in excess green taxes compared to residents of Camden (an inner London borough) who pay £62 each in excess green taxes “

Matthew Sinclair, a policy analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance and expert in green taxation, comments: "Green taxes are set far higher than is necessary to pay for our carbon footprint, which loads an unfair burden onto hard pressed British families and businesses.

“With the credit crunch squeezing household budgets, people can ill afford this extra tax grab. It's dishonest and unjust for politicians to wrap revenue raising tax hikes in a green banner. The Government is talking about raising taxes even further, but our conclusions show that green taxes should be kept as they are or cut."

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