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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

FEATURE: 'Drop the Tax' Top 10

It is all very well talking about taxing air travel etc and all that malarkey but lets face it, adding taxes to travel will probably just marginalise those who cannot afford to pay more whilst those who can afford any price rises will still carry on travelling without a care in the world - unless the tax is massive enough to hit everyone of course, which it very rarely is.

So do we start to play that sort of negative punishment game with its short term gains but long-term negativity or do we approach things from a different angle?

How do we encourage people towards better green behaviours without making it about who has the money to continue affording life little pleasures?

Surely the best way to encourage people to adopt a variety of sustainable behaviours is to positively reward their good green deeds. To that end I think we should no longer tax the following:
  1. CFLs and appliances with the highest efficiency rating in their industry
  2. All non-petrol/diesel vehicles including bicycles
  3. 3+ night stays in UK hotels for those with a UK passport
  4. Organic products - both food and clothing
  5. Second hand & Charity Stores - might already be the case
  6. Renewable energy itself or the equipment to generate it including solar powered torches, radios, chargers etc
  7. Money made from Green Investments
  8. Train journeys over three hours long
  9. Recycled products ie toilet paper, other paper products etc
  10. Building projects designed to produce energy-efficient housing
Now am not a tax expert...some of those might already be the case (although pretty sure they are not) but I do not think they are. What do you think?



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At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Tracy Stokes said...

Another great idea Al. But I can't help thinking that something still has to be done about airtravel. How about compulsary carbon offsetting?

At 9:56 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

I think this will probably happen although offsetting is often seen as too little too late...

Saw something about a fuel-cell powered plane today and also heard recently about Branson creating super-efficient and cleaner fuels...




At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Jane said...

The tax / charge I think should be introduced is not so much a charge, but a bonus! I think that for waste collection people who recycle should be "paid" for doing so rather than penalising people for not recycling. In my mind this is the best way to prevent people dumping rubbish etc because they don't want to increase their council tax costs.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous DavidM said...

I'm not a big fan of taxing individual items to make people green - the worst abusers can probably afford to pay the tax.

However, aviation fuel should be taxed just to bring it into line with other industries and i like the idea of no tax on green products.

Beyond that I favour minimum performance thresholds for products to be allowed to be sold.

We already have rating systems for white goods and lots of products from cars to fridges have regulations about what they must or must not do to be approved for sale.

Making energy efficiecy one of those measures shouldn't be impractical. Those standards can then be increasingly tightened.

For example, set a target that in 3 years time no new car will be allowed on the market if it does less than 30mpg, then raise the bar by 3mpg per year.

The rich can still get a Ferrari, it just has to be more economical. The car manufacturers have a long-term development plan so should be able to achiveve it.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Chaz T said...

I believe fairly strongly that what we need to do is to "tax" the problem. In this case, the problem is global warming pollutants. So we should tax carbon emmissions. Currently, we all get a "free ride" when we pollute because governments have to clean up the mess (or not). So the price of fossil fuels is really too low. If we correct the problem by raising the price adequately, the market will choose the best solution.
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At 7:17 AM, Blogger Mrs Moo said...

I love the idea of number 3. Cheaper UK Holidays for UK Passport owners, this year we where think of going to cornwall, but going aboard was cheaper .I know there are many many sides to this, as even has diffent agendas when going "away". Anyway, No 5. Second hand & Charity Stores - as far I know, Charity shop do not have to pay tax on the sale of second hand goods, just certain new goods (and the rules that decide this are complex). Hope this helps. Any by the way, Innocent Drinks are running a campaign to drop VAT on healthy food to encourage more people to buy/eat it over processed food. That has to be a good thing!


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