Green groups have reacted positively to a new report by the Green Fiscal Commission amid right-wing media scare stories about the impact of the plans.
The right-wing press have jumped on a single proposal in the report which would introduce “a purchase tax on new vehicle purchases averaging £300 in 2010 and rising by £300 each year, reaching £3,300 in 2020.” The Telegraph headline refers to “£3,300 new car tax” while the Daily Mail call it “a huge increase in fuel duty … that could see families’ green tax burden soar.” Neither news article mentions that the purchase tax would be offset by tax cuts elsewhere.
The Green Fiscal Commission’s final report shows that “a green tax shift would allow government to deliver economic as well as environmental benefit.” The report also demonstrates the existence of public support:
“There was substantial support in principle for green taxes – 51 per cent support versus 32 per cent opposition. There was a significant increase in support if revenue was to be hypothecated to be spent on projects to directly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Support rose to 73 per cent and opposition fell to 17 per cent.
“Support for green taxes rose even higher if other taxes were to be reduced at the same time. Support was 77 versus 9 per cent opposition.
Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said:
“If we’re going to deliver on tackling climate change and kick-starting a green industrial revolution then Britain needs to see a substantial switch to green taxes. Taxing pollution will raise the money needed to stabilise the country’s finances while driving improvements in energy efficiency, reducing emissions and encouraging investment in the clean technologies we’ll need in future.”
Norwich Green Party Councillor, and Left Foot Forward blogger, Rupert Read said:
“The Commission’s proposal to tax new cars is welcome, and throws into sharp relief the stupidity, from an environmental point of view, of the government’s ‘scrappage’ scheme, which Greens have opposed from the beginning. The vast amount of energy and materials used up in making new cars outweighs years of vehicular emissions. The environmental option is to keep your old car, use it as little as possible, and use greener alternatives such as rail and bike.”
Meanwhile, Harwich and Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has had his views on climate change exposed by his local paper, the Clacton Gazette, in a story titled “MP in ‘climate change’ row“. Carswell, who with Daniel Hannan MEP wrote “The Plan: Twelve months to renew Britain“, penned recently on his blog:
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“The lunatic “consensus” on man-made climate change is starting to break down.”