Treasury 'rakes in 35bn in green taxes'

The government earned £35.4 billion in environmental taxes last year, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that so-called green taxes made up 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product and 7.3 per cent of entire tax receipts in 2006 - a slight drop year on year.

In 2005, environmental taxes made up 2.8 per cent of GDP and 7.7 per cent of total taxation.

Total natural resources used by the UK economy fell slightly last year by 0.9 per cent or six million tonnes, the ONS Environmental Accounts report stated. The ONS said that the fall was down to less demand for natural materials such as agricultural produce, forestry, fish, minerals and fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels have dropped 11.9 per cent since 1990. Demand for fossil fuels fell 0.4 per cent on last year, the statistics showed.

The ONS noted that rising imports suggested environmental impacts associated with UK consumption were being transferred abroad. The amount of fossil fuels imported in 2006 rose by eight per cent, or 11 million tonnes, to the highest level since 1970.

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