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Motorists face 'disproportionate' carbon taxes
Motorists pay taxes amounting to "many times" the environmental cost of their cars, according to a new report.
And although the Government says that fuel duty and road tax are environmental charges, it has not explained what proportion of motoring taxes are spent on environmental schemes.
The claims come at the launch of a report - Carbon Prices: The Right Charge for Motorists? - by the RAC Foundation and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In a joint statement, the two groups said that Government policy on carbon charging was "inconsistent, confusing and unfair".
In 2008, the Government's Shadow Price of Carbon - intended to represent the true cost of environmental damage from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions - valued a tonne of CO2 at £26. However, the report claims that motorists pay more than £260 per tonne, while in March this year businesses using the European Trading Scheme were paying just £9 per tonne.
"The picture is utterly chaotic," said RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister.
"The Government has to fully and clearly explain to confused motorists just how much of what they pay in duty is actually a green tax.
"Motorists, like every other sector, have a role to play, but the burden placed on them must not be disproportionate."