Britain pays £19.6bn too much in green taxes

    • IPCC cost of carbon emissions estimate shows Britain pays £19.6bn too much in green taxes.


    • Even the Government's own figures indicate that we are paying £7.9bn too much.


  • Detailed area-by-area breakdown shows wide variation across the country - and the poor are hit hardest.


Download the full report (PDF)


Download the Green Taxes Database


New research from The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has revealed that green taxes are far higher than is necessary to offset the cost of UK carbon emissions. UN IPCC figures on the UK's carbon footprint indicate British taxpayers pay £19.6 billion a year more than is necessary, whilst even the British Government's own estimates indicate that we are paying £7.9 billion too much - money that taxpayers feeling the pinch of the credit crunch can ill afford.


Detailed local analysis of the green taxes and carbon emissions of the population of each local council area across the country reveals that there is a wide variation between different areas, particularly between urban and rural areas. A full list detailing the amount of excess green taxes paid per person for people in each local authority area in the UK is included in the report. A searchable database giving figures for every area in the UK can be found here.

In 2007, the TPA's groundbreaking report, "The Case Against Further Green Taxes" marked the start of the tide turning against green taxation, and was widely credited with preventing the Conservative Party adopting Zac Goldsmith's controversial green tax policy proposals. In the aftermath of the 2008 Budget, the TPA was the first organisation to flag up the proposed increase in vehicle excise duty as a costly threat. Now, the TPA's latest report demonstrates just how much people are suffering under the green tax burden and shows that even the Government's own figures show they are exploiting green taxes to raise massive amounts of revenue.

Key Findings


    • In 2007-08, the total burden of green taxes and charges, after deducting road spending, was £24.2 billion, up from £22.7 billion in 2006-07.


    • Taking the IPCC's estimates of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions, the social cost of Britain’s entire output of greenhouse gases was £4.6 billion in 2007, meaning Britain pays £19.6 billion too much in green taxes, or £783.34 too much per household. Even the Government's own estimates of the cost of greenhouse gas emissions as being £16.3 billion reveal we are being overtaxed by £7.9 billion - equal to £315.81 per household.


    • Therefore, even on the Government's own estimate of the cost of carbon emissions, green taxes are too high.


    • The burden varies significantly between suburban/rural areas and urban districts. For examle, residents of Maldon pay £607 per person in excess green taxes compared to residents of Camden who pay £62 each in excess green taxes (using the IPCC estimate). Out of 434 local authority areas, only five avoid excess green taxes under the IPCC estimate of the social cost of carbon emissions, and only 12 under the Government's estimate. There is a full local breakdown, area by area, of the UK included in the report.


  • Excessive green taxes hit poorer people hardest, hurt the competitiveness of British firms, cause Britain to export emissions and fall disproportionately on residents of rural and suburban areas.


Matthew Sinclair, a Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance and expert in green taxation, said:

"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 are talking about raising taxes even further, but our conclusions show that green taxes should be kept as they are or cut."

Download the full report (PDF)


Download the Green Taxes Database


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