11 March 2007

Conservative Green Tax Plans

So, we're all to be allowed one short-haul flight a year at the standard rate of tax but penalised for any further flights at a higher rate.

The trouble is Oxford University research published a month ago showed that green taxes fail to curb growth in greenhouse gas emissions from travel because high-income groups absorb any price increase rather than change their travel habits.

The reality is, even though George Osbourne says he doesn't want to "tax people out of their one foreign holiday a year," it is those in low and middle income groups who would pay the price by being deprived the opportunity to travel - some of whom would be denied the chance to visit immediate relatives living abroad or to cultivate important international business relationships.

For all the criticism that environmentalists have directed at America in recent years, perhaps Conservative MP Tim Yeo was closer to the mark with his private members bill at the end of January proposing that we move our clocks forward by one hour, as demand falls for electricity in the evening if it is still light. For America has today switched to daylight saving time three weeks earlier than usual in order to cut fuel consumption. Their summer time will also last a week longer into the autumn than it has previously. Overall, this move is expected to save $4.4bn in energy bills by 2020 and avoid the need to build more than three large electric power plants – and all without penalising individuals or damaging the economy.


R King said...

I thought Labour was supposed to be the Nanny State Party?