Articles on June 9 reported comments from Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which suggested that ‘green stealth taxes’ are adding 15 to 20 per cent to energy bills.
According to Ofgem, the correct figure for environmental costs in domestic bills is currently no more than 9 per cent. We are happy to clarify this.
Only 'suggested'? Here's how the Mail reported this claim on 9 June:
It says very clearly in the sub-heading that a '£200 stealth charge is slipped on to your gas and electricity bill'.
The front page story was written by David Derbyshire and repeated the claims made by Peiser in an opinion piece which the Mail gave the headline:
Here's Peiser's exact words:
so-called green stealth taxes are already adding 15-20 per cent to the average domestic power bill and even more to business users.
There was an accompanying editorial from the Mail which said:
Yet the scandal is that these secret extras which add 15 to 20 per cent aren’t even itemised on our gas and electricity bills.
The following day, Derbyshire repeated Peiser's claim of 15-20% on a £1,000 bill in another article.
And on 15 June, an article by Lauren Thompson explained how the 'Mail revealed last week' that experts ('such as Peiser') said green taxes added £200 to domestic bills.
As yet, the clarification has not been added to any of these articles online, but as Mail editor Paul Dacre has made clear burying corrections is a 'myth', that surely will happen...
But then, as Dacre said that the claim newspapers bury corrections is:
one of the great myths of our time
you might have thought today's Mail would run this clarification on the front page, where the original claim was made.
The fact-checking website Full Fact looked at Peiser's figures on the day they were reported by the Mail (and others) and cast doubt on their accuracy then. Why didn't the Mail also query his claims?