New, higher estimate of green taxes from the ONS

February 05, 2010 1:56 PM

In December, we reported that excessive green taxes now amount to between £10.2 billion and £23.6 billion, or between £408 and £944 per household.


The ONS have just released new estimates of the amounts charged in environmental taxes.  They put the total at just over £38.5 billion.  By contrast, our most recent estimate of the total charged in green taxes and regulations was £35.8 billion.  Our estimate included the cost imposed by regulations - in particular, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Renewables Obligation - but left out Air Passenger Duty (as that needs to be considered separately from other green taxes as aviation emissions affect the climate in a different way).  Add in our estimates of the cost of regulation and take out Air Passenger Duty, to make the ONS figure comparable to ours, and you get £40.5 billion.  Or, £31 billion net of road spending.


The main difference is that they have included the amount charged in VAT on fuel duty.  That isn't the VAT on petrol, but the amount of tax charged on the Fuel Duty tax.  The phenomenon is discussed by James May from Top Gear in this YouTube clip:




We left VAT on Fuel Duty out of our report as the Budget documents we used to calculate green taxes don't break down in that way.  Put the ONS figures into our calculations and green taxes were excessive by between £14.8 billion and £28.2 billion in 2008.  Motorists, in particular, are facing massive excess taxes and deserve a fairer deal.
In December, we reported that excessive green taxes now amount to between £10.2 billion and £23.6 billion, or between £408 and £944 per household.


The ONS have just released new estimates of the amounts charged in environmental taxes.  They put the total at just over £38.5 billion.  By contrast, our most recent estimate of the total charged in green taxes and regulations was £35.8 billion.  Our estimate included the cost imposed by regulations - in particular, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Renewables Obligation - but left out Air Passenger Duty (as that needs to be considered separately from other green taxes as aviation emissions affect the climate in a different way).  Add in our estimates of the cost of regulation and take out Air Passenger Duty, to make the ONS figure comparable to ours, and you get £40.5 billion.  Or, £31 billion net of road spending.


The main difference is that they have included the amount charged in VAT on fuel duty.  That isn't the VAT on petrol, but the amount of tax charged on the Fuel Duty tax.  The phenomenon is discussed by James May from Top Gear in this YouTube clip:




We left VAT on Fuel Duty out of our report as the Budget documents we used to calculate green taxes don't break down in that way.  Put the ONS figures into our calculations and green taxes were excessive by between £14.8 billion and £28.2 billion in 2008.  Motorists, in particular, are facing massive excess taxes and deserve a fairer deal.

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