A ‘meat tax’ would cost the UK £242 million a year according to a new study, adding a surprising economic rationale to the National Food Strategy’s dismissal of the idea on political grounds.
Conversely, the savings resulting from reduced climate emissions were calculated in the region of £100 million per annum.
Combined together, the report from agricultural research institute Rothamsted Research concludes a tax on red meat to help curb climate change could do more harm than good.
Dr Taro Takahashi, agricultural economist at the University of Bristol and Rothamsted Research, who led the research said the economic losses will not only be borne by livestock farmers, but everyone in society.
Dr Takahashi, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Livestock Systems and Food Security at the Bristol Vet School, a member of the University’s Cabot Institute for the Environment and a research scientist at Rothamsted Research, said: “Solely from the climate change perspective, our results unambiguously support everyone else’s finding: that a red meat tax can reduce GHG emissions.