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3 in 5 support using tax to fight climate change

27th April 2021

The Government has a "mandate" to bring sweeping changes to the tax system to combat climate change, a think tank has claimed after publishing a study on public opinion on tax and the environment.

Of the 2,076 surveyed by BritainThinks for think tank Green Alliance, 59% support "using the tax system to make environmentally damaging behaviours more expensive", with 12% opposing the statement.

More supported using tax to "make environmentally beneficial behaviours less expensive", with 62% of interviewees agreeing with the statement.

The majority of respondents backed carbon taxes on producers (57%) and consumers (53%), as well as a green VAT (54%) and a material tax on goods like steel and concrete (51%).

Opinion was split on road users being charged to drive as the use of electric vehicles reduces the amount of tax fuel duties take in.

In all, 37% agreed with the proposal, with 24% opposing it and 28% neutral on the subject.

Libby Peake, head of resource policy at Green Alliance, said:

"Tax is one of the most powerful tools Government has to deliver policy, shape the economy and give people and businesses alike incentives to do the right thing. In the fight against climate change and nature's decline, it's not being used to anything like its full potential.

"This survey shows people want that to change and there is a mandate for the Treasury to reset its approach in its forthcoming Net Zero Review."

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