Azara Blog: Lib Dem MEP wants to do something about population growth

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Date published: 2007/11/13

The BBC says:

Rapid world population growth must be halted to stop mankind "swamping the planet" like a "virus", a British MEP has warned.

Liberal Democrat Chris Davies told the BBC that politicians had to break a "taboo" and discuss the subject.

The North West England MEP added that families should be encouraged to have no more than one child in an effort to combat climate change.
Mr Davies said there were "many questions" on the best way to restrict population increase, adding that he was keen not to "penalise" families by taxing couples for having more than one child.

He added: "I'm happy for someone to come up with some ideas. That would at least be the first stage in a debate on the issue."

Barring compulsion (which hardly anybody would support), the only way to do this is exactly via the tax and benefit system. In the UK, as in most rich countries, the tax and benefit system gives huge subsidies to parents, for example through free education, time off work, etc. As with carbon emissions, if you want to change behaviour you have to make people pay for the consequences of their actions, instead of allowing them to externalise the cost onto other people. However, this will never happen with regard to population, because most people want to have children, and any political party that had a sensible proposal about children would never be elected.

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