TPA more “out of touch” than the Archbishop

Polling evidence reveals that the Archbishop of Canterbury is more in tune with “the British taxpaying public” than the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

The Express today carries a quote from the Tax Payers Alliance (TPA) accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of being “out of touch” after he called for increased green taxation to gear the economy towards a more sustainable path.

Susie Squire, the political director of the TPA, said:

“The Archbishop is showing yet again how out of touch he is with the British taxpaying public.”

But as Left Foot Forward reported yesterday, there is clear poll evidence showing support for higher green taxes.

57 per cent would support “new taxes on air travel with the aim of reducing the number of flights people take.”

68 per cent would support “much higher taxes on cars that use a lot of petrol and emit a lot of carbon dioxide.”

The evidence suggests it’s the TPA that are out of touch.

And last month Left Foot Forward reported that:

• 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 per cent in favour versus 9 per cent in opposition.

10 Responses to “TPA more “out of touch” than the Archbishop”

  1. AndrewSparrow

    RT @leftfootfwd: Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with “taxpaying public” with than the Archbishop of Canterbury:- //is.gd/4X2L9

  2. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with “the British taxpaying public” than the Archbishop: //is.gd/4X2L9 @othertpa

  3. Estelle Hart

    RT @leftfootfwd: Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with “British taxpaying public” than the Archbishop of Canterbury: //is.gd/4X2L9

  4. Clifford Singer

    RT @leftfootfwd: Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with British taxpaying public” than the Archbishop //is.gd/4X2L9

  5. Gareth Winchester

    RT @OtherTPA @leftfootfwd Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with British taxpaying public than ArchbishopofCanterbury //is.gd/4X2L9

  6. TPA

    Joss,

    The questions the Times put to their readers include all sorts of relative judgements like “use a lot of petrol”. When that is translated into actual measures, which hit ordinary family cars – as the Government’s Vehicle Excise Duty changes have for example, that support tends to turn into opposition. Equally, theoretical questions about green taxes substituting for other sources of revenue are pretty irrelevant when the public, correctly, see green taxes as a device to increase revenue instead of reducing emissions.

    For a more even handed analysis of the public’s attitude to green policy, take a look at YouGov’s poll for the Economist, page 20 of this PDF:
    //www.yougov.co.uk/extranets/ygarchives/content/pdf/UK%20US%20topline%20comparison.pdf

    It finds net opposition to higher taxes on petrol, airline fares or to subsidise “clean energy” such as solar power and wind farms. The only policy to see net support was building more nuclear power stations.

    Apart from that, with regard to the above story, the Archbishop was advocating higher taxes as a means of redistribution, he was not talking specifically about green taxes in the story we were asked to comment on.

    Best,
    Matt

  7. T_i_B

    RT @leftfootfwd Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with British taxpaying public than Archbishop of Canterbury //is.gd/4X2L9 #TPA

  8. James Asser

    RT @leftfootfwd Taxpayers’ Alliance more out of touch with “British taxpaying public” than the Archbishop of Canterbury //is.gd/4X2L9

  9. Will Straw

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for engaging. I haven’t seen the Times/Populus raw figures so don’t know what the questions were – do you know where to find it, by the way?

    That aside, two points:

    1) I was at the TUC event yesterday and Rowan Williams gave a complicated answer to a question from Richard Murphy (covered on his blog: //www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2009/11/17/rowan-williams-on-tax/). Williams was essentially talking about what economists call substitution and income effects.

    2) Green taxes should, in my view, seek substitution from bads (pollution) to goods (cleaner energy, etc). Of course it will raise money (income) if society doesnt switch but that’s a natural part of a well designed tax system. I don’t see why you’re cynical about that point. As the Green Fiscal Commission found, there is clear public support for this.

    All the best,

    Will

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    […] Archbishop of Canterbury, denounced by the Taxpayers’ Alliance for “showing yet again how out of touch he is with the British […]

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