Great Britain
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Cost of weekly shop could soar as killjoy ministers plan to clobber Brits with MEAT taxes

MINISTERS drew up secret plans to look at how to clobber Brits with meat taxes - while publicly telling the nation it would never happen.

But today bungling civil servants accidentally published the plans online - before having to swiftly delete them.

Research papers ordered by the Department for Business laid out how they could put Brits off eating meat and go greener.

The Nudge Unit - which is partly owned by the Cabinet Office - recommended whacking millions with taxes on their much-loved bacon, bangers and roast dinners to try and force the public to eat less.

They said "interventions" from ministers might include "substantial taxes or regulations" to push them into eating more veggie burgers and salad.

The report also said: "carbon taxes are an effective instrument for steering whole sectors or economies towards better outcomes."

But the paper, ordered by the Department for Business, admits attacking the nation's favourite foods would be "highly regressive".

Producing meat products emits a lot of carbon emissions, which scientists say is helping to warm up the planet.

Officials hastily denied they were looking at anything in the commissioned research, and pulled them offline within hours.

A Government spokesperson said last night: “This was an academic research paper, not government policy.

"We have no plans whatsoever to dictate consumer behaviour in this way.
"For that reason, our Net Zero Strategy published yesterday contained no such plans.”

It came as Boris Johnson faced a barrage of opposition from all sides over his controversial plans to get Britain to go greener.

Critics said it would hit the poor and it was still unclear how anyone on low incomes would be able to afford it.

And green activists slammed it for not going far enough.

Tory MP Craig McKinlay told The Sun: "The whole plan isn't workable, fantastically expensive and works out at just a small fraction of global emissions.

"We have inflation and the cost of living spiralling which the low paid are bearing - and we shouldnt be adding to their problems.

"I want to leave the planet in a better state than we started, but this isn't the way to do it."

And Steve Baker MP, a vocal critic of the Net Zero plans, added: "I fear the PM is rolling the dice, and as a lucky general, he might get away with it.

"But I believe the costs of this will be so large and widespread, the political price will be worse than the poll tax.

"This will blow up into a massive political insurgency."

Labour MP Darren Jones, chair of the BEIS committee, hit out at the Chancellor's doom-monger warnings, saying: "People across the country don’t want more failed promises from Ministers but affordable, desirable change that will improve their quality of life as well as the climate.

“This can’t just be left to the market, but the Treasury seems to be the last bit of Government trying to block action on climate change.”

And Sam Alvis of Green Alliance added: "Rishi Sunak should be listening to his real bosses.

"The majority of the public and the prime minister see that more investment now will bring thousands of good jobs and lower bills”.