Editor’s note: whilst this article was published on April 1st this article represents the reality of the situation.
The air we breathe is set to be taxed as part of a revolutionary Government plan to raise more money.
Rural folk will have to cough up the most under the new charge – already dubbed a gasp bill – while those living in our polluted cities will be expected to pay less.
The Air Tariff Control system will assess charges in different areas of the country and every household will be liable for payments, which will be administered by local authorities and added to council tax bills.
The project, to be run by a private firm under a five-year licence, is designed to fund air quality improvement initiatives.
One senior air technician at the Environment Agency said: “Air is natural but, just like water, it is a finite resource that we have to manage sensibly. Water quality and supply improved with privatisation and there is no reason why this should not have the same impact on air. The aim is to allow everyone to enjoy high-quality breathing air.”
The scheme, which the Government believes will help reduce levels of asthma and bronchitis, will see each region of the country allocated an Air Band to determine how much each household will pay.
The Lake District is likely, according to
the documents, to be in the highest bracket while residents of cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham are earmarked for rebates because of traffic fumes.
Special plants will later be built to capture clean air and regulate its flow around the country, monitored by tracking devices being developed at Ayr University.
But critics believe the Coalition plan will see the end of free air for all in the UK, with private companies cashing in.
One Labour backbencher said last night: “This has literally taken my breath away.”