Theresa May’s plans to double plastic bag charge to 10p slammed by Chancellor Hammond

carrier bag charge

Theresa May’s plans to double the plastic bag charge to 10p is being opposed by Chancellor Philip Hammond, it has emerged.

The PM is due to unveil the move this week – and also roll out the levy to smaller retailers.

The 5p charge has led to a dramatic 86 per cent drop in plastic bag use at the UK’s seven major supermarkets since the scheme was introduced.

Treasury insiders have said the PM’s attempt to hike the charge to 10p is unnecessary and will appear like the Government is trying to “profit” from the charge.

Revealing yet another clash between the Chancellor and No10, a Treasury source told the Daily Telegraph: “The 5p tax has already worked and dramatically reduced the use of plastic bags.

“If it’s raised to 10p it looks like profiteering.

“The key thing is that people feel their family budget is going up.

Consumers don’t want to feel like they are being hammered with more taxes on the cost of everyday living.”

There were more than 7.6 billion single-use bags used in 2014 but last year that had fallen to just 1.7 billion.

Consumers don’t want to feel like they are being hammered with more taxes on the cost of everyday living.”

There were more than 7.6 billion single-use bags used in 2014 but last year that had fallen to just 1.7 billion.

That represents a drop from Brits using around 140 bags every year that generated 61,000 tonnes of waste, to around 20 bags.

Yesterday it was revealed that Mr Hammond had privately blasted Mr Gove’s radical approach to cutting plastic waste – arguing that it wrongly targets consumers.

Mr Hammond has told Treasury insiders that he’s “not interested” in creating new taxes such as the a 25p on disposable coffee cups backed by the Environment Secretary earlier this year.

Mr Gove described the so-called ‘latte levey’ as an “exciting idea” and also claimed the British public were “prepared to pay more in order to help the environment”.

In a dig at Mr Gove, Mr Hammond told friends that he wants to take a “more intelligent” approach such as using “very small but significant tax incentives” on producers and retailers.

He believes this approach would force businesses to “take more responsibility over the products they choose rather than increasing taxes on consumers,” a source close to the Chancellor said.

They continued: “The Chancellor takes the view that we’re not particularly excited about creating new taxes like coffee cup taxes and so on, which are just going to hit working people.

“We’re much more interested in if we can do something that we think is more intelligent that is very small but significant tax incentives on the retailers and producers which will make them change behaviour and hopefully not hurt customers at all.”

The Treasury insider added: “There are more systemic ways to change the system and get retailers and producers to take more responsibility over the products they choose rather than increasing taxes on consumers, which at the end of the day means more money for hardworking people when they shop in the supermarket. That’s our approach.”

Mr Hammond’s attack on Mr Gove follows a similar rebuke by his deputy Liz Truss, who used a speech in June to openly mock Mr Gove over his nanny state crackdown on disposable cups, plastic straws and wood-burning stoves.

Earlier this month the Treasury signalled it would announce a new “plastic tax” on firms selling single-use water bottles, takeaway boxes and coffee cups.

The levy will be charged on businesses producing “bad” plastics in to encourage them to use recycled plastics instead.

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