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Friday, July 03, 2015

How Government tax policies are undermining their climate change agenda

We all love our car and given the huge number of them on the roads and growing it is little wonder that the government is trying to keep motorists sweet.  However, we cannot just keep building new roads to tackle congestion as these fill up very quickly and we are back to square one. It makes sense therefore to take a carrot and stick approach, improving public transport so that it is at least as convenient as driving whilst making the car-option less convenient.

The UK Government's aspiration to improve our rail network is at least a step in the right direction however, as this article in the Independent makes clear the Chancellor's policies are hardly joined up in this regard.

The paper says that Chancellor, George Osborne has foregone millions of pounds in revenue by freezing fuel duty and even cancelling planned rises whilst at the same time there have been steep cuts to bus and rail subsidies. Fares are increasing faster than wages.

I am not advocating hitting the motorist any harder than at present but I do think that the government has to show a willingness to meet its own climate change targets by urgently cutting train, coach and bus fares and delivering some real investment in public transport routes apart from the prestigious ones, as well as walking and cycling infrastructure.
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