Azara Blog: LibDems pose on the environment

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Date published: 2006/04/27

The BBC says:

Sir Menzies Campbell has challenged David Cameron to sign up to a cross-party plan on the environment.

The Lib Dem leader urged the Tory leader to agree to five broad "green principles" that would underpin policy.

Green issues have become a key battleground at next month's local elections after Mr Cameron urged voters to "vote blue, go green".

But the Lib Dems argue progress can not be made until there is cross party agreement on the way forward.

In a speech in Norwich earlier on Thursday, Sir Menzies urged the Conservative leader to agree that:

Sir Menzies said: "These steps are common sense and they do not require 18 months of deliberation by a policy review.

Well what is a "green" tax? If the LibDems agree that the UK electricity and gas supply (in particular for houses) should be subject to a carbon tax, then all very well (and it seems that they are implying that above, so let them announce it loud and clear that they are proposing that household gas and electricity bills should double in cost, and stop playing around). And it is just common sense that air passenger duty should be based on emissions and not on passengers, and it is unbelievable that the government cannot cope with that simple concept (but the Treasury has trouble with lots of simple concepts). But Vehicle Excise Duty has nothing to do with carbon emissions, it is based simply on ownership, not usage, so that particular bullet point just seems like the typical middle class stupidity common amongst the ruling elite of Britain. (There is of course a proper carbon tax based on vehicle usage, it's called fuel duty.) Unfortunately for the ordinary citizens of the UK, "green" taxes are going to be based on political correctness rather than carbon emissions. (Cars allegedly bad, buses allegedly good. Airplanes allegedly bad, trains allegedly good. Making steel allegedly bad, heating houses allegedly good. Anything allegedly bad gets hammered, anything allegedly good gets off scot free, independent of actual carbon emissions.)

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