Azara Blog: Surprise, rich people can afford to pay a carbon tax

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Date published: 2007/02/01

The BBC says:

Current UK green tax plans are unlikely to curb the growth in greenhouse gas emissions from travel, a study says.

High-income groups, whose emissions were twice the national average, would absorb any price increase rather than change their travel habits, it said.

Researchers from Oxford University said the data revealed how socio-economic factors shaped how people travelled.

They said targeted measures, such as personal carbon credits, were more likely to influence people's behaviour.

Another pointless piece of "research". Surprise, travel is such a good thing that people are willing to pay extortionate taxes in order to enjoy the benefits. You just have to look at car drivers, who pay fuel duty which is way over what any sensible carbon tax would be. And it is obvious that inflicting extortionate taxes on air travel will not really affect the rich, it instead will mostly affect the ordinary people who are now at the margin of being able to afford air travel. And personal carbon credits, as usually proposed, are no different, since above a specified limit they are just another form of carbon taxation. The UK should stop wasting money on these facile studies and instead spend the money on science and engineering research to find ways of making travel less environmentally damaging.

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