Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gordon Brown, the great policy nicker, is at it again

On September 4th I mused:

It could be that Brown has a cunning plan. Speculate about an October election. Get Cameron firing off all his salvoes in the form of his various policy initiatives. Then don't call an autumn election and pick and choose the best of Cameron's initiatives and implement them as government policy before the actual election next spring, or whenever.

Clever that.

No sooner said that done. Brown has nicked a policy idea straight out of the Conservatives' Quality of Life report, only a few days after it was published:

The Chancellor is planning to introduce a "purchase tax" of up to £2,000 on the most polluting vehicles, it has been claimed.

The idea is set out in a leaked Treasury paper ahead of Alistair Darling's forthcoming Pre-Budget Report.

According to the paper, obtained by The Sunday Times, there will be the one-off charge and the so-called gas guzzlers will also be subject to higher road tax.

More fuel-efficient cars would be eligible for a £2,000 rebate, under the proposals.

Officials apparently acknowledge in the leaked document that the measures would be "presentationally difficult" but argue that they would also "strengthen the environmental signal".

The proposals bear a remarkable similarity to those contained in the Tories' Quality Of Life policy report, which was unveiled by David Cameron this week.


  1. This of course is an envy tax.

    It does not tax environmental impact, it taxes big cars.
    The emissions of a polluting car driven a little will be less than the emissions of a less polluting car driven far more.

    We should be taxing actual pollution, not possible pollution. We do that through emissions taxation, or second best, tax fuel.

  2. Thanks, Tristan - very good point

  3. Bill Rodgers said only yesterday that the Lib Dems were not a party, but a think tank. Apparently so.

  4. Thank you David. It's nice to hear from you. I don't agree with Lord Rodgers. Think tanks don't control cities like Liverpool and Newcastle and have parliamentary representatives in Westminster, Edinburgh and Europe, and assembly representatives in Cardiff.

  5. If the revealtions about candidates, from Ming's own mouth, are anything to go by, then neither do the Lib Dems; not really.

  6. You don't know what Ming said so, as you are such a fair minded individual, I would ask you to hold fire until I have established the exact quote.