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Should the government reduce tax on fuel?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'd like to know what everyone thinks about this fuel crisis that keeps cropping up. Should the government give in to the protesters and reduce fuel taxes or are the taxes a necessary evil? When it started, my sympathies were with the protesters but when it started to affect me personally (ie reduced bus service etc) i lost my patience with these people. I think this is a very complexed situation and would like to know what others think.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I believe that the method of the original protest was designed to provoke a reaction in the "everyday" people like ourselves. It had to cause us problems or else the majority of us would have sat back amd said "c'est la vie" (sorry if I spelt that wrong).

    The fact that alot of us "lost our patience" was supposed to happen IMHO. Because then there is a strong reaction to the problem which caused the action.

    The government is in a difficult situation, I expect, individually, they would love to cut the taxes on fuel, but unfortunately they would have to rob peter to pay paul.

    Having said that, I still support the protestors, even though I was inconvenienced last time and am likely to be again this time as we have a fairly long journey to make at just about the time the protest is likely to hit it's peak if it goes ahead.

    Blair, via the media, has played a joker by panicking the public before there is any real concern about fuel supplies this time. Causing fuel shortages, due entirely by people stockpiling. The public are likely to get annoyed with the protestors when the media & the individuals themselves are to blame.

    This will serve to lose the protestors' public sympathy & Blair will then be able to choose between saying, "well, there is only a shortage because people have been panic buying" or "see what these people are doing to you"

    It looks like a no win situation to me.

    J9
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The protesters are sticking with what they believe, which really is something.
    Looking at the floods though, we caused the floods through polluting the atmosphere too much. If the fuel taxes are reduced, the environment will suffer and consequently, we will suffer.

    I don't have a car, so I don't really know that much about the taxes on the fuel because it doesn't really affect me.

    Still, in this case I'm with the government (which is unusual for me), but only because I'm an eco-freak who loves the environment and wants to keep it clean for my children to enjoy.


    OPEN YOUR MIND...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I live in Nottingham, and out of all the places in the country I have been to I feel it has the best public transport. We have regular busses and the council is constructing a tram network as well.
    But does that get rid of traffic? No. The reason public transport is useless isnt because it is so slow. It is because of the lazy fat assed people who cant be bothered to hop on a bus. It is because of people who illegaly drive in buslanes, slowing them even more. I'm all for the fuel tax because it will mean more people giving up their cars. I was unaffected by the fuel crisis because I get the bus. If everyone else got the bus then they wouldnt be affected either and this topic would never have been created!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Whowhere:

    <snip>

    If everyone else got the bus then they wouldnt be affected either and this topic would never have been created!

    It's not quite as simple as that for some people. What about the areas which don't have adequate public transport? What about disabled people who are reliant upon their vehicles? People who don't have the time to walk to and wait at a bus stop for ½ an hour before 2 buses turn up together. Have you ever tried to do a week's food shopping on the bus, with two or more small children, at least one of which has to have a pushchair? What about the parents who's children live too far away from school to walk, and there is no direct bus route?

    I could go on...... It's not just "lazy fat assed people" who use their cars!!

    j9



    [This message has been edited by j9j9 (edited 06-12-2000).]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even with the high taxes it still tends to be cheaper to travel by car than by train.

    Mu last job, however, was inside the cento area, and 1 ~30 quid monthly ticket sorted out my transport. A 1/2 houly bus to city center (20 mins) a selection of busses to the station about every 10 mins (5 min). A half hourly train to the town (40 mins/hour depending) 5 min walk to the office)

    the timetable was just right so when you got off the bus at the station you could see your train pull out.

    Very annoying, but you got an about an hour to read a book.

    Driving took about 90 mins.

    My new job is not realisticly possible by public transport as it'd take about 150 mins - mostly on busses and I dread to think of the cost. it takes about 35 mins to drive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by RachaelHolmes:
    But over the years it has been proven that higher tax on fuel has absolutely no affect on the amount we use!
    ...

    Ummm.... where?

    I read something not long ago (in the Economist I think) which said that in fact while car usage has still been increasing, the taxes have slowed it down considerably. Since Norman Lamont started the 'fuel tax escalator' to increase fuel tax above the rate of inflation every year, the growth in car usage has slowed to only about 1-2% per year (if I remember correctly) which is down a lot on what it was before and is contributing to the UK's attempt to meet emissions standards.

    So IMO there is a very good 'green' case for the tax.

    BTW Labour in response to the protests have actually agreed not to continue the fuel tax escalator for now - originally it was intended for it to continue for longer than this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was interesting to see the whole country so worked up about the price of fuel.

    Personally, I was dissapointed that the fuss wasn't made over something more important.

    I don't even feel that the fuel protesters arguments were justified.

    There are a number of very good reasons why we have tax on fuel.

    We probably have some of the best National Services in Europe. But this does require maintaing. Is a drop on taxt really worth the subsequent drop in the standards of our health and educational services? The extra money we pay is for a purpose.

    Besides, comparasions with countries such as France are often unjustified anyway, as France has a system where you pay less for fuel, but have to pay tax to travel along certain roads.

    I also feel that tax has a good purpose for enviromental reasons. The reduction of fuel prices would surely bring car use to an all time high. Isn't this a bad thing? By increasing rather than decreasing our car use, we are just adding to the very real problem of global warming.

    So overall, I think tax on fuel is a good idea. It decreases our use of cars and makes us consider alternate forms of transport as well as helping maintain our national services
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by aphrodite969:

    We probably have some of the best National Services in Europe. But this does require maintaing. Is a drop on taxt really worth the subsequent drop in the standards of our health and educational services? The extra money we pay is for a purpose.


    If our national services are the best in europe I would hate to live anywhere in the rest of europe!!! On which countries are your comparisons based?

    Our health service & schools are in a terrible state, and the tax from fuel isn't directed towards them anyway.

    j9

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    j9, I think one of the things people were complaining about around the whole fuel crisis thing was that fuel tax wasn't directly invested in public transport / roads etc., but was used elsewhere to subsidise other services. I personally don't have a problem with this - higher fuel and car use indirectly puts more of a stress on the NHS and other things dealt with by the government (such as pollution controls and cleanup - rivers, countryside, building maintenance etc.).

    j9's right about our national services not being that great in comparison with the rest of Europe - although it does depend on how you decide to do the comparison. What qualifies as 'national services'? Other countries don't try and run a NHS like Britain, but mix private and public insurance etc. Similarly, the railways don't necessarily qualify as a national service in that they're private, not public.

    Another thing is that Britain actually has lower taxation overall than most of Europe. People still complain about high taxes, but then complain about not getting as much from the state as they should or as people in Europe (partly the media's fault, they portray it differently).

    I think also part of the problems with the health service being in such a state, and schools seeming to be in such a state, is the change in expectations of that which should be provided by the state. The NHS has had to cope with ever increasing demands on its services, partly due to many more treatments being available now than even 10 years ago. The public expect to have a wider range of treatments available without paying any extra. Seems pretty dumb to me.

    Also, schools. Are they really in a worse state. If so, in what way? Standards almost certainly are not dropping, although some of what and how is assessed is changing in response to a changing society. Lots of schools have problems with violent, agressive youngsters they can't control - but then they're not allowed to touch them or they could be sued. Plus, it's not supposed to be the school's job to teach youngsters the basics of respect, self-control, discipline etc. In the end, it should be the responsibility of the parents to do most of this (why should teachers be surrogate parents to say 30 children).

    I believe their parents are the ones failing in this respect... but equally it is not simply the parents' fault. Traditionally communities provided a lot of support for families and parents with children, and there was a degree of shared responsibility, including the effects of extended families as well. I think that a lot of communities have lost their social cohesion and as a result, parents who have difficult lives anyway have lost their support networks.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    if we reduce fuel prices the government will put duty on other stuff. no wim situation i feel, but i do agree they should be cut, i was gals to see BP drop there prices by 1 p, how big of them!
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