Azara Blog: Joan Ruddock sticks two fingers up to the workers of Britain

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Date published: 2008/05/26

The BBC says:

The government is coming under mounting pressure from hauliers and its own MPs to change its mind on measures that threaten to raise the cost of driving.

The Labour MPs say poorer motorists will suffer most from plans to increase road taxes on more polluting cars.

Road hauliers are also angry that fuel duty is set to rise by 2p this autumn.

But environment minister Joan Ruddock said that while she sympathised with motorists, the government "could not lose sight of the environment agenda".
Ms Ruddock said the government had already shown sympathy for motorists by delaying the 2p increase in fuel duty until the autumn.

She said the environment would benefit from the plan to increase road taxes on more polluting cars.

The changes, due to come into effect next year, will mean cars will be put in one of 13 bands from A to M, based on their carbon emissions.

Owners of the most polluting cars in band M will pay £440 in tax. And from April 2010, people buying the most polluting cars would pay a one-off "showroom tax" of up to £950.

Ms Ruddock added: "What we can't do is lose sight of the environment agenda because this is everybody's future, the future of the planet."

She denied the retrospective aspect of the policy was unfair.

"Over a 10 year period...I think the direction we have been going in has been clear to people at the time," she said.

Although the Labour government has long since passed its sell-by date, one nice thing that this government has achieved over the previous Tory government is that Labour ministers have generally been a lot less arrogant than their Tory predecessors (Michael Howard, Kenneth Clarke, etc.). Unfortunately Joan Ruddock seems to want to prove that she can be just as ridiculous as the Tories. It is blatantly obvious that any retrospective tax measure is unfair. She is rich, so will not suffer. Unfortunately the entire tenet of the so-called environmental movement in Britain seems to be to screw the working class. And given that all three main UK political parties are fairly well dominated by the academic middle class, it is pretty obvious that no matter which party is in power the working class is going to get screwed. At some point some populist (so someone similar to Blair, not the old Etonian Cameron) will step in and the academic middle class will discover that most of the country don't actually support them or their ideas. Meanwhile the Labour government will find that, although the Tories and Lib Dems are willing to hammer car drivers just as much as Labour is, the people will take it out on Labour at the next election.

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