Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Using tax to destroy undesirables

Also in The Times, Jamie Whyte lays, oh-so-gently, into that lunatic Zak Goldsmith, a man who—considering he attended my old alma mater—seems to display a staggering degree of stupidity and a stupendously stultifying ignorance of economics. Still, what do you expect from the multi-millionaire playboy editor of the tree-hugging hippy's favourite rag? Still, Mr Whyte's pertinent point for today is this:
[Goldsmith] wants to tax the over-consumption of energy in the hope that people will stop over-consuming energy. But even someone who knows nothing of tax theory will noticed one little snag. If this tax had its intended consequence, and people stopped over-consuming energy, they would also stop paying the tax. Then how would Goldsmith’s Tory government or Ming’s Liberals fund their billions of spending commitments?

This, of course, was always the flaw in the Edinburgh tram system. If the proposed Congestion Charge was brought in, the revenue was going to pay for the trams. Unfortunately, the City of Edinburgh Council had not considered what would happen if their tax worked, and everyone took the bus or train instead. This is because they are fuckwits; all of the best councillors (and I use the word best in its loosest possible, comparative sense) went to be MSPs, and the Coucil was left with the dross. Or, rather, the dross of the dross.

Luckily, the people of Edinburgh voted against the congestion charge, the tram costs rose massively (to a vaguely realistic figure) and the Council found their plans up the fucking spout. Unfortunately, the City of Edinburgh Council have responded by doing their level best to completely fuck up the entirety of the city, and thus cause more congestion.

Expect another referendum in a year or so...

1 comment:

Serf said...

I don't see this as a flaw.

Its a self replicating tax cut. So we get to save the planet and cut taxes at the same time.

Everyone is happy.

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