Net Zero Green Taxes to Increase Grocery Prices by £4 Billion Per Year

A customer shops for food items inside a Tesco supermarket store in east London on January
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

Net zero taxes on groceries concocted by the Conservative Party will increase food bills for the British public by an estimated £4 billion per year, retailers have warned the government.

Rather than seeking to ease the burden of Britons, who have suffered under crippling inflation over the past two years following the state-imposed coronavirus lockdowns, the government is intent on taking more money out of their pocket with a series of taxes to subsidise the recycling of packaging to be imposed at the supermarket.

The so-called Extended Producer Responsibility net zero scheme developed by the seemingly ineradicable government fixture Michael Gove during his stint as environment secretary was originally estimated by the government to cost consumers around £1.7 billion, however, retailers have now said that due to inflation it will likely be over double that.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the British Retail Consortium said that the green tax, which rather than hitting businesses will be passed onto the public, who will likely see their groceries bills increase by £140 per year, with an overall cost of £4 billion per year.

The chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson said: “Over the next year or so a raft of new regulations and taxes will burden retailers – and ultimately consumers – with higher costs. Just as inflation looks to be turning a corner, these new policies put this at peril. The Government needs to look at these in turn, and consider whether to implement, postpone or scrap each one.”

The revelations follow reports that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government had attempted to negotiate with major food suppliers to impose price caps in order to limit the impacts of rampant inflation, which has resulted in staple food items such as bread and cereal to a 45-year-high.

To make matters worse, research has found that while wages have increased in purely numerical terms, they have failed to keep up with inflation, meaning that in real terms the vast majority of people in the country have taken a pay cut. Despite this, the neo-liberal Tory government has claimed that it is necessary to impose the highest tax burden on the public since the Second World War.

Former chief Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost said: “It makes no sense at all to try to cap food prices on the one hand and implement a new tax on food on the other. In a cost of living crisis, what people absolutely do not need is for food prices to go up because we are putting more unnecessary costs on business with the spurious justification of net zero.”

The chairman of the net zero scrutiny group of Conservative MPs, Craig Mackinlay said: “If we want hard-pressed families to manage the cost of living crisis, this grocery tax needs to be abolished.”

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