Cynical View of Fuel Tax Policy
At least the last Labour government were honest thieves.
In robbing the rich they made no bones about it, this was socialism, pure and simple.
Today we live in a world where the Government seeks the favour of the whole of the population - including their former enemies.
On the surface of it the latest plan to tax fuel-hungry cars is an honest, environmentally-friendly move.
Dig deeper, however, and it becomes more likely that - like the hunting ban - this will be nothing more or less than another victory in a never-ending class war.
Despite "New Labour" election promises, the Government seems hell-bent on keeping the old guard happy by dishing out class punishment in small but relentless measures.
If a tax against gas-guzzlers really was an attempt to cut down on exhaust gases the Government would simply tighten the acceptable limits for emissions for ALL new cars.
They could also make sure that cars already on the road are properly maintained.
The latter, however, would cost votes, whereas taxing those least likely to vote for Labour is a much safer bet for a Government already on the rocks.
The really sad thing about all of this is the total lack of action from the so-called opposition who time and time again let opportunities pass them by.
Real problem is petrol pollution
GREAT idea of the New Labour government to use road taxes to curb the increasing popularity of large, gas-guzzling, heavily polluting cars!
The Greens have been arguing for this for some considerable time.
The real trick is to reduce road fund licence and dramatically increase tax on fuel.
It isn't car ownership that's the problem, it is when cars burn fuel and emit carbon dioxide (and other more noxious chemicals) that they cause problems.
Increased tax on fuel will encourage more efficient engines and challenge levels of car use.
And, of course, the extra tax income mustn't just sit in the Chancellor's war chest.
Taxes penalising motorists must be spent on providing good, effective alternatives to car use.
In fact, the money needs to be spent up front now - pounds 25bn on an under-resourced rail network is insignificant compared with the hundreds of billions spent on maintaining and extending the road network.
COUN Nic Best
NE England Green Party
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