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"There will be a simplification of the tax system"

It's hard to believe there is any truth in this when Osborne will not even commit himself to less types of taxation.

Why is it always assumed that if you cut taxes in one area you have to make up the money by raising taxes in another? Tax take in this country has increased dramatically since 1997 with very little visible improvement, isn't it about time that David Cameron and George Osborne followed the advice of Philip Davies MP quoted in the Daily Telegraph on Monday,

"We can't tiptoe around the subject. We have to be confident in what we believe: that lower taxes increase economic activity and thus produce a higher tax take. We should not be fighting the battle on Gordon Brown's ground, arguing about how to slice the cake. We should be saying to the public: you have been overcharged for your public services and here is your refund."

I am all in favour of encouraging people to be more environmentally friendly, but do it with taxes breaks not tax hikes. Reward people for taking the green option by reducing their tax bill.

This is just great news if it makes it to the manifesto. Taxing the socially unacceptable whilst reducing the burden on businesses. Any more of this forward thinking and we may even end up getting elected!

Just thinking in a broad sense, does an increase not just hurt your average Mr/s Bloggs, who works a normal 9-5 job but drives back home (public transport not being appropriate? If taxes on the income are staying the same, and you are hurting Mr/s Bloggs more because they use their car, this hurts them more. They will have less money left over. They cant sell the car as they need it, but they cant afford to keep it either.

How much will environmental taxes have to rise in order to balance these other reductions which Cameron and Osborne are planning? To be honest, Id rather not cough up even more for train tickets (prices will have to rise if capacity is forced to increase by these planned taxes) in order that people owning shares get more money in their dividends. I dont own shares so my money is just taken away without any tangible benefits for me.

Osborne and Cameron need to look at the wider picture and see how the entire nation is affected by any change in taxes.

"He notes that the contribution of 'green taxes' to Britain's total tax take has fallen from 7.7% in 1997 to 6.2% today. "

I thought that was the whole point of green taxes!

If the tax take from "green taxes" is rising over time then it shows that they are not changing behaviour (to save the planet etc) but simply a revenue generating exercise.

Hmmm, using MagLev. How will it be funded? Will it be funded by these tax increases? The irony of course being that for Osborne to be seen to be succeeding, he needs revenues from green taxes to reduce as people stop using their cars.

Oh groan!
Just think for a moment about every person who comes to work on your home or at your workplace, the windowcleaner, the plumber, the stationery company, etc. If you tax their vehicle use their prices will understandably rise, fortunately we would all have to increase prices together but what affect would that have on inflation, the cost of transportation in this Country will sky rocket and everything you buy will go up, businesses have got to make money before they pay tax on their profits.

This amazes me, just because Londoners who can select from buses, underground trains, overground trains, live and work in a compact city with everything close by to access by bicycle, believe that this wouldn't cause a massive revolt. In the town that I live in there are 34,000 residents a poor train service, limited buses and hardly any after 18:30, the Council have tried hard to bring in high achievers and aspirational families to raise the population mix but haven't attracted private sector jobs and businesses so the majority are forced to commute. When public sector job movement occured in the town this increased commuting further and I witness the snake of cars coming into town every morning with out of area commuters, I don't think that you can remove people's choice of workplace and force them to work in the town they happen to live in.

This is just another revenue grab, you know people won't change their habits, we already pay one of the highest taxes on fuel in the EU and this is just an attack on soft targets.

Yet another vote loser from the lad Dave unless you live in Notting Hill. Living, as I do in rural Kent and commuting to London (how Green), my nearest station is 10 miles away and the bus service non-existent. The Conservatives completely cocked up rail privatisation, which makes commuting a misery. Now I am being taxed for going to the shops, pub or rail station by car. I confidently predict yet more Conservative voters will join the disillusioned and stay at home next time round.

Tracy - I think you will find that all petro based fuels will rocket price wise as we reach oil topping point (estimated in the next 5-10 years by most free thinking geologists). If these proposals help us move away from petro it will give us a competitive advantage in the longer term.

MH - It is a vote winner here in rural Wales. If I can use myself as an example - I have not been able to bring myself to vote in any election since I made the mistake of voting for Major's shambles of an government. However a truly green and pro market ticket will get my and many of my apathetic friends whole hearted support.

I just don't think Dave will win the election by banging on about same old Tory topics - they've not really helped us in the last 3 elections have they?

I really despair at much of this: seems the Conservative party I knew and loved for 35 years has now been hijacked by the worst excesses of the green movement who had previously only been an adjunct to the wilder fringes of the anti-capitalist Left.

Rather than fiddling with shifting the burden of taxation around, we should be pushing for a massive reduction of *overall* taxation. Public opinion is coming round to this - it's time we once again took the lead.

I drive, I fly, and I vote. So do the majority of the population. Remember this if you want to get elected.

A regressive tax strategy with the brunt being borne by lower middle class earners/the poor who live in rural areas or in the many towns which lack decent public transport. Meanwhile, the likes of George Osborne swan around the world on environmentally unfriendly all-expenses-paid junkets (sorry, "fact-finding missions") for which the taxpayer foots the bill too.

Do business people have many votes? Er not many......

Is it going to be revenue neutral? Probably.

So for the bulk of voters this will be a tax increase...........

Can someone please show us the research that this will appeal to the C2's?

Renny, the complaint on this thread isnt about Cameron talking about other issues. I welcome it, and I suspect so do the other readers. What many of us object to is what Cameron and Osborne are proposing, which is a substantial increase in green taxation which will punish those who drive to work as they have no other mode of transport effective enough to dissuade them from using it. They try to balance it with decreases in regulation but with it very unspecified, the burden looks set to increase, placing even more pressure upon small and medium sized businesses, exactly the sort of businesses we need to be reducing the burden on.

A corner shop near me uses an old van in order to get new stock every day. I would imagine itll be punished by these new increases. It needs that van to get stock so the business can stay afloat. Small businesses rely on their cars and they will have to suffer.

Renny - we are obviously having different experiences. I live in an ultra safe Tory seat, which - since Dave took over - has seen a huge slump in fund raising and membership. The common theme, even amongst the remaining members, is when will we hear something we can support. On this specific issue, it will hit rural areas hard who have no choice other then to use their car and have virtually no serious bus service.

Those who pollute the planet the most should pay the most.This is only fair and proper and perhaps it will make mothers think twice about using the car to take little Johnny two hundred yards to the local school,stop fit men jumping in the car on a sunday morning to travel a ten minute walk to get the morning papers and encourage people to use public transprt to get themselves to work not there all polluting cars.
I support this move and I hope its just a small step forward in the party putting the environment first.

This looks the ultimate vote loser to me. Fuel costs are already crippling many businesses. Telling them we'll reduce the tax on their profits, if their have already gone in further fuel duty won't wash. Increasing aviation taxes sky high won't do a lot for out globle trading position either.

What's happened to the James review findings. We could afford the stamp duty proposals by scrapping the new deal. Or are we keeping that now?

"This is only fair and proper and perhaps it will make mothers think twice about using the car to take little "

But Jack, Osborne will be hoping for the exact opposite.

If he is raising tax in this 'green' area but cutting in another to be revenue netural then he must be counting on this new income from not falling or he will be left with either a financial shortfall or be forced to raise the other tax he just cut.

By switching the revenue take in this way, the more successful the scheme is (ie behaviour changes, so the green tax falls), the bigger the financial blackhole for Osborne.

So if Osborne is depending on this income, it shows that the whole think is just a marketing swizz not a real effort to save the planet.

Given that domestic aviation currently accounts for just 0.4% of the UK's entire C02 output, Osborne's measures will hardly signal the end of global warming.

Those who pollute the planet the most should pay the most.

More left-wing nonsense from Jack Stone who writes like a socialist troll.

Does Mr Stone have a car? Does he walk to work? I doubt he does.

I have to commute from my home which has no railway station and no bus going to where I need to go. It snows up in winter which justifies my 4x4 which I am very proud to have and use.

Come on Jack. Why don't you tell us what you are doing to help on green issues.

Malvolio, Jack is not a socialist troll, you just disagree with him, thats all. Lets stick to the issues without any backbiting, please.

James - Hopefully the tax proposals will discourage the use of high carbon emitting vehicles (eg Chelsea tractor)whilst encouraging efficient modes (smart cars and the like). I think your corner shop will be penalised less than the likes of Tesco and their highly inefficient (in food miles) distribution system.

MH - We are not going to win the election by appealing to traditional Tory constituencies. We need to reach out (and hug lol) the wider population.

Jack Stone thunders that "those who pollute the planet most should pay most". Apart from sounding like a constipated Anglican Bishop, perhaps Jack could answer three questions:

1. Should George Osborne therefore have to pay his own airfare to Tokyo and back?

2. Should the mother who lives three miles from the local rural school walk her child there and back, bearing in mind that the local buses run three times a week?

3. What else is the existing fuel tax other than a levy per mile driven?

Bearing in mind the huge profits that Tescos make, I doubt that will be the case, Renny. Tescos can afford to have the distribution network it has because it has the money to put into it. Its profit margin can be less as it can recoup on other sectors. For the corner shop though, they have less money to invest and they need to charge much higher than you would in Tescos.

I cant see Terry Leahy being too worried about this. I can see thousands of small and medium sized business owners crapping themselves at the thought of more costs though...

Malvolio, Jack is not a socialist troll,

OK. Well why does he refuse to disclose how he gets to work?

"I cant see Terry Leahy being too worried about this."

Well considering how entrepreneurial he is, I expect Tesco to be soon offering rural dwellers, who Osborne prices out of car ownership, a lift to the train station on the back of one of his Tesco vans.

I support green taxes (I installed solar panels for a few years back) but the package must protect rural communtities that have fewer transport choices.

Our (Conservative) county council has effectively abolished free transport to school (while extending free transport for pensioners!)and the school run is now horrendous. We need to get children into the habit of taking the bus early in life.

yes the tories need to rebrand.
yes much of what they did for a decade has been a joke.

no that doesnt mean parroting vacuous rubbish about the environment without even bothering to make one serious speech about the science of climate change, just watching the comedy "news".

people on this site ought to wake up to a crucial fact - leave aside the constant tedious debates about "strategy", most of which fall into the false choices discussed by the TPA briefing but apparently unread by 99% of ConHome commenters, and ask - "what is the point of having cameron and co in charge for five years?"

at best they'd be 5% different from now, and in some cases theyd be worse. the general problems of crime, education, and economy going south wd keep getting worse while they continued to help the BBC undermine other ways of looking at the world. ie. a rerun of macmillan, heath, and major...

there is no point to the cameron project consistent with hayek, even if they are right about how best to win which i also doubt. there may be a point consistent with another bunch of second rate people getting their limos, but that's tops.

the best thing to do is abstain in the next council elections and hope that acts as a wake up call.

they ought to be building the third party institutions recommended by the TPA but there is near 0% chance of that...

i wont bother voting for them on the current trajectory.

Well, the Labour minister was spot on. Increasing the tax burden on C1/C2 voters in order to reduce the tax burden on businesses is a sure vote-loser.

In response to HF's Comment, I have now had 5 members of my constituency in the past three weeks resign due to David Cameron's leadership. Overall, membership is down by 12% (net) on its level 12 months ago, despite regular letters to pledges inviting them to join. We've had a problem with the closure of a Conservative club which collected some subscriptions, but it's still disturbing.

I'm not sure, HadEnoughTory, that the Party should be seeking the vote of the capital letter-challenged.

So how many of Ming's green tax proposals are Osborne going to adopt ? All those Conservatives who were criticising them will have to do a U Turn and start saying how brilliant they are .

Where's the evidence that raising green taxes will lead to a reduction of pollution? New technology is the way forward, not crippling industry. Its a Labour/Liberal tax and spend view which under the 'green lobby argument' we are being forced to accept as well - our lifestyles mean that we will end up paying the extra costs and pass those additional costs to others as increased business costs and wages which will lead to inflationary pressures and ultimately reduced tax revenue - all this 6.2 to 7.7% is a red herring.

The ones who will be hit the hardest by this type of policy are those on middle to lower incomes as they will be unable to afford the higher costs unless the income tax threshold is raised substantially or the basic rate cut dramatically which will not happen.
Precisely the opposite will happen to what Osborne says and the policy will penalise hard work and enterprise. Because we are timid in our taxation policy, we will not promise to cut other taxes, merely tinker with them as we did at the last election and end up in no man's land as easy targets of Labour's 'spending cuts' argument and unable to convince the public we are serious about tax cuts.

I don't know...are we meant to be taking any of this stuff seriously in terms of actual policy?

The kind of green taxes you'd need to levy to fund significant cuts in biz taxes/income tax simplification would add up to fuel protests x10 and electoral suicide. Which is precisely what made Blair and Brown back off.

The LDs can talk about 2 grand tractor taxes easily enough because they'll never get to the controls. But we will. And what then?

I'm still presuming all this is still fuzzy image stuff, and a real DC government would actually follow Blair's first term prescription- safety first, steady as she goes; the over-riding aim is to get re-elected.

It's only when the dragons reappear or others outside the party eventually get public opinion shifted that we'll actually have some real policy debate.

For now we can all relax and enjoy the futuristic breeze shooting about Maglev trains (first mooted in the Eagle circa 1960 iirc).

"Malvolio, Jack is not a socialist troll, you just disagree with him, thats all. Lets stick to the issues without any backbiting, please."

You're right, I'm pretty sure he's a UKIP troll (I've posted my reasons for this elsewhere). He makes imflammatory comments and then rarely re-enters the debate. In the past he has called me "nasty" for mocking positive discrimination and once claimed that I wanted to send children up the chimneys just because I dared to suggest that judging the 16th century by 21st century values wasn't a very conservative thing to do.

Regarding this policy, it looks like the sort of measure that will penalise the "strivers" while proving to be only a minor nuisance to the wealthy. Remember the fuel protests? That might have been a minority but they clearly had the support of the majority.

"I think your corner shop will be penalised less than the likes of Tesco and their highly inefficient (in food miles) distribution system."

Forcing a highly successful supermarket to increase its costs will not go down well with consumers.

Adam - if we tax the arse off old petro heavy modes of transport this will surely make petro-lite modes more attractive to consumers?

This is just the sort of thing we need to be doing, encouraging the post-oil economy before we are post-oil and getting ahead of the competition. Using taxation to promote behaviour that is not detrimental to our (world) community.

Was not part of the lack of atraction the Lib Dems had at the last election down to their silly taxaion policies, of which green taxes were a major part?

I wouldnt call them silly taxation plans. They just couldnt remember what they were...

Renny, unfortunately petrolite cars arent eh ones those on lower incomes go for. Where I live, no one has a nice car, they are all old and they'll be the victims under this proposed regime.

"We've now got a generation living in France, working three days a week here, [which] thinks nothing of going to Prague for a stag night."

2 questions:

1) Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
2) Do (a) Steve Norris, (b) David Cameron & (c) George Osborne think that this is a good thing or a bad thing?


I live in a rural area. People are increasingly using their cars because of the steep, unrestrained increase in train fares.

For those on lower incomes who have to commute to London, where such a long daily drive is not really safe, there are more who are having to "drive down the line" until they get to a station where the fare is affordable.

These people do not want to drive but have been forced to by the rail companies' greed and lack of effective regulation.

And now Osborne wants to slap more taxes on their car to "enourage" them to take the train, when they are only in their cars because they have be priced off the railways!

So what do they do then when they can't afford the car or train?

Renny - you may think you can take so-called safe seats for granted and maybe you can. But when the grasroots fundraising and canvassers dry up, are all you Cameroons going to help rebuild the only associations that were ever of sufficient size to keep the Conservative Party going in its leanest years?

Sean Fear - sounds like you are experiencing the same as my constituency. ALthough here membership is down by nearly 250 year-on-year.

Renny, petro lite modes are fine for those who have a choice. We won't suddenly see everyone dump their cars for new petro lite modes of transport as a result of a tax increase. If we take the Tesco example above, the lower/middle income earners who shop there as its cheaper than the local shops will end up having to pay more as the costs to tesco increase. Tesco won't compromise on profits, its the consumer who foots the bill. The alternative is to pay more at the local shops. Either way they are losers without any reduction in pollution and undoubtedly will want higher wages to compensate. This type of involvement by Govt cuases severe damage to the economy. The gradual phasing out of gass guzzlers by innovation and new technology should be our aim, not short term measures that stuff up the economy and leave the problem unsolved.

The more I think about it, the more I find it hard to believe that Osborne will actually introduce a tax that shafts the lower middle and working classes.

I can only hope (for electoral reasons) that these green taxes he is considering will only impact upon a minority who can afford to pay.

I'm sure the general populace and the travel industry will love being taxed to the gunnels for their flights...

Chad, it is depressingly obvious that the world view of those who put these barmy proposals together is bounded by the M25. After all, aren't the North and the Midlands just places you pass through/ over on your way to the grouse moors of Scotland?

With regards membership... these figures go up and down in different constituencies. In Normanton, for example, we have INCREASED our membership by 400% in 2 years! In the last 8 months far more central members have joined who would have not given it a moments thought before Cameron became leader as our image was so bad.

Now, granted, a 400% increase in Normanton is not huge numerically, but it is just another example of how some constituencies are being revived under the new leadership.

As for Chad's assertion that the entire membership is plummeting (as claimed on his hilarious website) that is, quite clearly, nonsense. Overall our membership is greater than the Lib Dems, Labour, Ukip and whatever other party he has ever been a member/founded/mouthed off in support of.

That's what happens when you have a winner leading your party.

That we should be having a debate on this is absolutely right, and I was pleased in the way that Osborne entered it, as the question of air v’s rail is an important one. In this case, it would involve implementing infrastructure changes that might take 20 years to complete, now, the market is not that good at dealing with such long-term projects due to the risks involved, both political and technical, and the length of time needed to recoup the enormous amounts of required capital; therefore such a change must be lead by Government. The people of this Country must make a call, ever increasing congestion, energy consumption and costs or they can vote for what might be an expensive but world-class alternative. It’s not easy, but the easy alternatives in life are not necessarily the best, with a bit of brain power and clever planning this could work and be made to benefit everyone.

Jack Stone - Where on earth do you live? "Green taxes" are no such thing - they're a savage imposition on those who are unable to avoid them. Blogger after blogger has instanced how if you live in the country and are not one of the miniscule number who actually work there too you have no alternative to the car. How with Post Offices closing (even in central London let alone the villages) are you going to post a packet under the new rules? Where do you get your car licence - not in the same place as you get your TV licence. And it isn't just personal petrol / diesel at issue - it's everything we do or any services we use.

The only statement on tax made by the suicidal Cameroons is a decision to INCREASE taxes. When will the idiots get it into their heads that without tax cuts the economy will continue its decline into ever more uncompetitiveness. Already jobs have been lost by both Sony and Panasonic relocating their production abroad BECAUSE "Britain is uncompetitive".

I personally do not believe in MAN-MADE Global Warming anyway so the whole "Green" concept to me is suspect and some of it bogus. But the Cameroons have fallen for it hook-line-and-sinker. Sack Zac!

Hadenoughtory - Join the club of abstainers or join "Tories for UKIP" which will upset the metropolitan loonies in HQ

MH and Sean, sorry to hear it. In our area numbers are holding because we have increased our campaigning. I can just see the effects on the 4x4 and 2 litre voters in an area underserved by buses and trains.....and we are a target seat!

I would hope that they have this properly modelled with winners/losers by constituency and likely political preference.

Our main fight with Labour is inner city, so outside of a "car less" London, is this a vote winner in midlands and northern cities?
And does Norris still represent a railway company so his interest is.....

Also Nil points for George Osbourne in the next survey from me.

I am absolutely in favour of encouraging people to be more environmentally aware and responsible in their lives. Whether it’s dropping litter, watering a lawn, heating a house, buying or driving a car, we should be aware of the damage we do. However, green taxes without green alternatives is a dirty money grab.

So to tax an inefficient car when it’s first sold is, in my book, the right thing to do. At that point, alternatives to the 28mpg model are available. But to tax car fuel where there’s no public transport is a money grab.

I suppose we could take the free market argument: increased costs of travel will allow the market a margin to provide answers, but that’s not infallible. Far better it would be for us to be offering a carrot to go with the stick.

Going from London to my house in Southampton, it should not take 1hr 20 to get to Southampton Central, then a 15 minute walk to the bus stop, up to an hour’s wait for a bus, then a 20 minute bus journey. Nor should it take 1hr 20 plus a 12 quid for a taxi. Driving to London should not be an hour more attractive, and cheaper to boot. If we’re going to tax people out of cars, we have to be simultaneously offering a truly integrated nationwide transport system.

Strange that Osborne doesn't mention WALKING as an environmentally friendly form of personal transport. But not for longer journeys, and thanks to decades of cheap oil our economy and society in general is now structured around everybody and everything making ever longer journeys ever more frequently. It would take a similarly long time to reverse that while avoiding significant pain.

hf - thanks for your sympathy. It's partly to do with inertia here, but Dave is not going down a storm. If it was purely members, I'd understand, but the money is really leeching too. And we were a Premier League seat 2 years ago!

"So to tax an inefficient car when it’s first sold is, in my book, the right thing to do"
This is simply a jealously tax because fuel efficiency is only one part of the equation, the second being miles travelled.

Why should someone who travels 3,000 per year in a high-polluter pay more than someone who travels 18,000 pa in a less polluting car if the former has a lower net pollution output?

Taxation on fuel is the only fair way to achieve balance, but as you note Mark, we first need a cheap and efficient alternative (like the railways) to encourage people out of their cars.

We need the carrot and the stick, not just the stick.

Mark Fulford, an excellent post. Exactly right. Even when people do have the choice of public transport (and I do because I live near London and hence drive very little), that public transport is often both expensive, inconvenient and late at night, not that safe.

hf - the local election results in Hertsmere in May were fine - we gained two seats, but then they've been fine since about 2000.

It's the resignations, and non-renewal of subscriptions, since then, that are starting to concern me.

I was interested to note the following part of Osborne's speech:

“I believe we in Britain should move some of the burden of
taxation away from income and capital, and towards taxes on
environmentally damaging behaviour."

Away from income? Does that indicate...?

In the rest of his speech the only other part about green taxes is:
“Instead of a tax system that penalises hard work and enterprise, I want to move towards more effective and fair taxes on pollution... I want the proportion of tax revenue raised by green taxes to rise.”

And from these two vague statements the usual hysterical critics have deduced that mothers will be unable to take their kids to school, small businesses will collapse (despite the lower business taxes presumably), predicted rural "revolts", and the now standard chip-on-shoulder stuff about how only Eton-educated toffs could afford a car (to drive to their grouse moors) etc. etc.
Why dont you morons wait and see what the actual policies are before you tear your membership cards up in a fit of spluttering outrage?

The rest of his speech was about how technology is the way forward and how hyper-industrial Japan has lower carbon emissions than the UK. But I guess that was of no interest to anyone...

1. I can't see the logic in penalising people for owning the cars which they need and which suit their requirements, when the problems really only arise when they use those cars, and whether the problem then is carbon emissions or congestion the simplest solution is to transfer the taxation from VED to fuel.

2. I don't think government policy for the whole population should be controlled by the small minority who live in rural areas. The best way would be apply higher fuel duty to everyone, but set up a special rebate scheme to reduce the excessive financial impact on those living in remote locations - eg, at the moment through the government paying part of their council tax.

"Why dont you morons wait and see what the actual policies are before you tear your membership cards up in a fit of spluttering outrage?"

I would have thought hurling childish insults around was moronic.

..Although he does have a point :O

Mr Osborne says that Maglev's could make domestic flights redundant. Unless he commits to building a tunnel it would be difficult to see how this would help Northern Ireland's weak economy!!

Dear George Osbourne

Lord Ashcroft's analysis on the last election stated based on 1st-4th May 05 that. "46% of non-Conservative voters who could see themselves voting Conservative in the future said the party was not “promising bold enough cuts in tax and the size of government”, down 1 point since January, 45% disagreed with the proposition.

So half of our potential voters dont think we were bold enough. What we now find is that we are now talking tax increases and revenue neutral changes!

I am gob smacked.

Well said Denis.

I had a look at your website today Chad I thought it rather hilarious that on the basis of Sean Fear saying 5 people had left his constituency party you could deduce that 'Conservative membership is in freefall!'.Do you actually have any evidence for that statement?
Also why does no one ever seem to reply to your editorials ?

.. .malcolm, its particulary interesting that any replies are made through this site. Why is that?





Hi Malcolm,

I personally I am in favour of membership numbers being lodged with the electoral commission as I believe all parties lie about them.

I was simply reporting Sean's concerns and others here, so you should be directing your questions to them if you think they are fibbing.

Do you have anything to show that Tory membership is higher today nationally than it was 12 months ago?

Thought not.

Jon Gale, if we are morons, you are a childish prat. If what passes for your intellect will stretch that far, try reading Mark Fulford's last posting which sums up perfectly the virtues of green taxes as well as the potential unfairness in what appears to have been proposed. And no, I did not analyse every syllable of Osborne's remarks in Tokyo. I have better things to do with my life and in any case as Orwell pointed out, most political speeches exist to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.

I don't think it's wise to generalise on the basis of what's happened in my constituency Chad. Local antipathy towards David Cameron is not necessarily replicated elsewhere.

If we are to back up our concern to improve the environment than we have to put forward policy`s that will help do that. One way to stop people using there cars unnecessarily and many do is to increase taxes to make those who pollute pay. Its not ging to be popular with some people but its the right thing to do.
We forever hear complaints about Cameron and the leadership just being populist well now there coming forward with somehing that will need to be sold and will not be totally popular and still we get complaints.
We have allowed the left to make the environment there own for far to long and its about time that the Conservative Party started to hit back and put forward sensible solutions to save our planet.
A couple of points need to answered. Firstly Christine if you support UKIP you support the re-election of the Labour Party because that is exactly what you will get if to many people vote for them If you are a Conservative you support the Conservative party you don`t start praising our opponets.
Richard stop playing the same old song your beginning to sound like a parrot. I do not support UKIP.I do not own a car but that as no influence on my views whatsoever.
There are people on this site who deminish there arguments by everytime people put foward an alternative view resorting to personal abuse. Personally I find it rather unbritish and not how political discussion should take place in this country.

I wasn't Sean, I saw MH confirm much the same as your point, and it was something I suspected following the EPP broken pledge, so it was more about putting a few jigsaw pieces together.

If someone can provide a verifiable comparison of Tory national membership from now Aug 2006 and Aug 2005, then if I am wrong, I am more than happy to print a correction.

Yes a maglev train linking through to places such as Manchester and Liverpool could
1. Radically transform the economies of the north.
2. Reduce/eliminate the need for massive house building in the south east.
3. Replace a large majority of domestic flights and some long distance car travel (carbon saving).
4. Be a boost to the ecomomy through the investment spent and jobs created.

This would take at least a year to plan and 5 years to build.

This is a much better way to lead environmental improvements, I like it.

I'm confused. There have been a number of reports about a surge in membership numbers since Cameron became leader in the media, even in Scotland. McCain agrees to speak at conference, a man widely tipped to be the next President of the USA, some polls put us 9-points ahead of the Govt., our best performance for well over 10 years with 4 different leaders of the party, the number of big-shots financially supporting us is seriously gathering pace, and our chances of winning the next election are continually being cut by the bookies.

So, remind me, why is Cameron presiding over a disaster? If some of you do not like the direction we are travelling, fine articulate why and I'll be interested to hear it, but try not to undermine the argument by making statements about the dismal state of the party - we are on planet earth here, not cloud cuckoo land.

Oberon, we have been here many times before. The issue isn't winning power, it's what you do with it once you have got it. The Tory Party's track record in terms of using power to challenge, rather than conciliate the left is very poor: Churchill, MacMillan, Heath, Major....and in some respects Thatcher too. So it's not good enough to say: let's win power and then have the debate about how we use it afterwards. The debate never happens and is often actively suppressed, especially when as now the patrician wing of the Tory Party is in charge.

I agree with Jack Stone that the left has monopolised debate on the environment for far too long. But that situation will not change for the better if the Conservative Party simply adopts the left's heavy-handed approach to these matters and puts forward suggestions which are openly regressive and unfair. Mark Fulford put it perfectly: "green taxes without green alternatives is a dirty money grab".

Hi Chad
I have no idea whether Conservative party membership is higher now than it was last year but then neither do you.
I do know that in my constituency (Braintree) our membership is significantly up and is now the highest it has been for many years.
To suggest that membership is 'in freefall' on the back of such flimsy evidence as you have done is quite frankly ridiculous and probably thouroughly dishonest.

I'm broadly in favour of green taxes (even though as a motorist I'd rather not pay them)

When people talk about industry they seem to readily accept the "pollutor pays" principle - yet when it comes to personal pollution many people feel they shouldn't have to pay

I do not own a car but that as no influence on my views whatsoever.

More guff from Jack Stone, who has the biggest brass neck out.

It's very easy for him to want to soak drivers when he doesn't own a car!!!

This means he doesn't need a car. Either he's unemployed, retired or has access to reliable local transport eg the Tube.

I've got news for you Jack. I once lived and worked in London and in those days I didn't own a car either. And I've got more news too. I didn't prance about like a pink-arsed fly demanding taxes on motorists.

Like Richard I think there's something not quite Kosher about Jack. Even TRG wets usually have one or two vaguely conservative ideas. Jack doesn't have any at all and like Richard said Jack slings out some abuse or lefty nonsense and then disappears. He has nothing to add to the debate at all.

Prove me wrong Jack.

Jack Stone - re "Tories for UKIP" - you really are dense - it's a threat designed to frighten Cameron to death - either that or it's serious. Do wake up please. And your slavish adulation of all things Cameroonish lends itself to caricature. unBritish caricature, doubtless

Re memembersdhip numbers . There WAS a surge in membership but nobody ever counts non-renwals as having left (ALL parties do this) What we are getting now is long-term members resigning - branch officers in many cases. That's serious

As for Cameron's performance, haven't people noticed that the polls do not give the don't knows which one pollster tells me are at an all time high. The winning party is the abstainers who will be reinforced by many Tories unless Cameron wakes up. And only one poll has given a figure which would produce - just - a Tory government.

Chad, Sean, MH, Oberon: it is perfectly possible (if a little unlikely) for a party's opinion poll rating to sky-rocket at the same time as its paying membership plummets. People sort-of like it better than before, but not the type of people who would subscribe or join an organisation.

For example: if you go into a pub and offer to buy a few rounds for everyone there, your popularity will go up, but you won't necessarily get loads of drinks bought for you in return.

Am I the only person on this thread (other than Jack!) who will welcome these proposals?

To be honest I prefer the Huhne system (and it's not often I'll praise a Liberal Democrat) of using the revenue raised through economic disincentivisation of harmful practice to cut income tax, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

While we're on the subject of the environment, the strict across-the-board emissions cap declared by the Republican Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday was a hugely positive step and demonstrates that, contrary to the regular claim made by our esteemed editor, David Cameron is not the only significant conservative politician to embrace Kyotoesque emissions caps as the way forward in the fight against climate change.

I do know that in my constituency (Braintree) our membership is significantly up and is now the highest it has been for many years.

I haven't a clue whether membership in our assoc. is up, but if it is they're not taking any active part as far as I can see.

We had a leafleting drive last month and it was all the usual faces, but no surprise there.

Nobody new on our ward committee either.

Malcolm have you actually met any of these new members you have?

Malvolio's last post highlights the point that when people self-righteously demand tax increases, what they normally mean is other people's taxes!!

Correct Michael.

Jack seems to be a classic tax-and-spend socialist. If he actually supports any real Conservative policies I'll be pleased to hear it.

Daniel, even if Schwarznegger reduced emissions in California to zero, it would make an absolutely minuscule difference to climate change because China and India are uncapped and growing at a rate of knots. Indeed, there is very little evidence that even if western economic growth were brought to a standstill (which is what the eco-left wants), that climate change could be reversed to any significant degree. I am all in favour of reducing pollution and cutting waste but the climate change debate is riddled with political prejudice dressed up a voodoo science.

Michael, there is an old Chinese proverb which states that 'a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step'.

Somebody has to take a lead in taking the painful measures which are going to be required to address the problem of climate change.

California is an economic powerhouse (by itself, it has the fourth largest economy in the world) and as such, this latest move is a significant one which should not be underestimated.

Daniel, I don't doubt what you are saying. However, as his critics have pointed out, Schwarznegger is running for re-election in a traditionally Democrat state; and nothing is achieved if he forces industries to leave California and relocate to places such as China which is massively increasing its CO2 output each year. Furthermore, internal air travel in the US must be a huge contributor to emissions with California a prime culprit. Yet no controls on the airlines are being proposed because Californian voters like cheap air travel which is the lifeblood of the US.

I will give Arnie credit for one thing: he (and the US) have led the way in promoting cleaner technologies....a fact conveniently ignored by the Americophobes who permeate British politics.

Voodoo science is exactly what it is. Over millions of years the earth has heated and cooled and heated again. What goes round comes round. Tell the tree-huggers that.

If people want to be eco-hippies that's fine by me, but they can take their scooters right off my lawn.

Chad keep posting your crazy rambles on this UKIPhome effort of yours. I go onto the site every day and it creases me.

It used to be the sole preserve of the Labour Party's leadership to make me groan whenever it was pontificating about what would be good for us. That role has however been usurped by Dave and his little helpers. I really do not understand why they appear to hold traditional Conservatives and their interests in such contempt. Nothing they say seems capable of changing one's view that they do not care about anything other than themselves and their sad cliquey little views.

Christine you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel if you are bringing in don`t knows to try and prove the Conservatives and David Cameron are unpopular.I think its about time you just gave up the ghost and admitted what is clear from every opinion poll that David Cameron is the most popular leader in the country and the party the most popular party.You may not like the fact but DC is going to be Prime Minister after the election regardless of the views of people like you who seem to have views that belong to the dark ages.
You can not lecture about how we need policies to back up our words on the environment and then baulk when the leadership comes up with policies that may cost some on this site a bit of money.Do you only back policies that profit yourself or do you beleive that politics is about backing things you believe are for the greater good.
People need to stop using there cars unnecessarily and the only way you are going to do that is by a form of taxation.
I don`t believe in taxing for taxing sake but I do believe that there are times such as smoking for example where it is right to reduce consumpton by increasing taxes.
You will only save our planet by firm action not by words and is good to see that when we take power after the next election David and George will do exactly that.

FYI there is also some very good and amusing analyis of this topic on Guido's website.

So Christina Speight I would love to see your evidence that long term members are resigning.No doubt you'll be able to provide the exact numbers or could this be yet another wild assertion.
Malvolio yes I have met several and unfortunately for many posters on this blog it seems that many have joined because of David Cameron so they are obviously not 'proper Conservatives, traitors,communists) etc. Please feel free to add your own epithet.

Over millions of years the earth has heated and cooled and heated again.
And always for some reason levels of Greenhouse Gases have come down, or 2 continents moving near the pole has caused what is now known as "Snowball Earth", the difference is that that was due to natural causes and those changes go on, but humanity has added a major factor into the mix - any warming tendency will add to that that human beings themselves are causing, who knows the next human effect couold be towards cooling rather than warming, the rate of change is far bigger than anything ever seen and plants and animals may not be able to adapt so quickly, it may involve actual interference by people to shift plants and animals to new emerging climactic zones and in the future the possibility of deliberate interference to slow changes either caused by new human activity or a removal of existing human activity - humans adding to emissions of Greenhouse gases warms climate, either climate warms until an increasing proportion of the equatorial parts of the earth are uninhabitable or it starts to level off - trying to balance it and slow it if it is falling and trying to reduce it to a point where things are no longer warming are both hugely difficult, the cause is artificial largely so any change will have an effect, it is easier at the moment when warming is small, if say in 500 years when the UK has closer to an Indian climate then a sharply reducing level of greenhouse gases could pose the opposite problem.

I personally I am in favour of membership numbers being lodged with the electoral commission as I believe all parties lie about them.
surely that would mean the Electoral Commission taking on huge numbers of extra staff to benefit things, and all for nothing, who cares what the actual membership levels of each party is? Other than the parties themselves.

extra staff to benefit things
monitor I mean, not sure how the word benefit slipped into my mind at that point?

Malvolio yes I have met several and unfortunately for many posters on this blog it seems that many have joined because of David Cameron so they are obviously not 'proper Conservatives, traitors,communists) etc. Please feel free to add your own epithet.

Clearly you haven't read my posts Malcolm or you'd know that I am a top dollar Cameron supporter. He has a cool, smooth, go-getting image which is what we need right now.

But these days committed people aren't joining political parties full stop. A real Tory would have joined the party years ago not just this year because we changed the face at the top.

Believe me, Malcolm, these guys may not stand the course and I have been an activist since I joined FCS in the 1980s. Boy we had some times then, and we weren't taking prisoners.

I liked the style of some of your previous posts Malcolm so I'm a bit disappointed by your latest tone or are there 2 Malcolms?

Jack Stone. Still a bunch of socialist dross. If you really are a Tory you can't have been a member for long because you wouldn't have lasted five minutes under Maggie!

Jack Stone - You really should wake up@! Since when have I demanded policies on the environment ? I think the whole issue is a bogus one.

As for Cameron's popularity ICM puts him a long way behind Gordon Brown (31 to 24% - the don't knows there were 34%)

In fact I do back policies that are nit good for me personally but are good for Britain. The economy needs tax cutsa and here's the party dreaming up new taxes. This daft idea of Green taxes to please Zac will hit the poorest hardest. In my home county of Hereford car ownership was per capita the highest in E&W because of the old bangers owned by the poor who had no bus service. Osborne, Cameron and their rich pals in Notting Hill have so much stashed away that they don't care anyway.
Malcolm - I could name names of resigners - a branch chairman in N Dorset and two in Cameron's Witney seat. All of these were over the EPP broken promise

Yetanotheranon- too right and don't forget the volcanoes Tamaroa????? in 1815 and Krakatoa which totally reversed all global warming. But don't tell Cameron or his Green friends - they might cry! Poor Zac.


You are quite right about people on limited incomes driving older less efficient cars because they cannot afford newer more efficient ones let alone a brand new Prius. The problem is many in the Tory party (including the latest supporters of socila justice) simply do not understand what it is to be poor or if they do it is on such a theoretical basis it is meaningless.

"Chad keep posting your crazy rambles on this UKIPhome effort of yours. I go onto the site every day and it creases me."

Pleased to be of assistance! Give me a million like you and I'll be rich on the advertising income ;-)

If the Conservatives were serious about the need to increase taxes to bring about environmental change couldn't they start by recommending that the 350,000 cars registered under mobility and paid for by the state were either hybrid, lpg or electric (like these Smart cars someone mentioned earlier).

Furthermore for Renny's suggestions about getting a head start in the future without petro vehicles, I would like to see alternatively powered vehicles, surely it's investment in alternative technologies that are required not just taxation on polutants. Without a valid alternative these green taxes are just painful new taxes and not a solution.

I have deleted a post above that contained bad language and the two posts that then picked up on it. Any post that contains bad language is likely to be deleted.

PS can we stop discussing Chad's site and keep on message/ on thread...

'Christina You are quite right about people on limited incomes driving older less efficient cars because they cannot afford newer more efficient ones let alone a brand new Prius. The problem is many in the Tory party (including the latest supporters of socila justice) simply do not understand what it is to be poor or if they do it is on such a theoretical basis it is meaningless'

Sorry Esbonio but you are wrong. First of all let me say that my new car cost me £515 and does 600miles on £42 of diesel. It was replacing a newer car, that used to do 330miles on £45 of petrol. So it was the economic reality of fuel prices that forced me to switch. If there were more second hand LPG cars about I'd switch to that, and there will be within a few years.

I am always amazed at accusations of how Conservatives supposedly don't know what being poor is like. Many activists are poor, and there is a sizeable base of voters who are not the well off. Not only that but MPs get many of their surgery work from the poorer sections of society (mostly made poorer by Gordon Browns Tax Credits)

Sorry to go slightly off topic but I can't stand accusations that the left has a monopoly on caring about 'the poor'

I welcome these tax proposals, and so should everyone else. I was reading yesterday's thread and was fascinated to see Christina complaining about 'policy lite' party leadership, now we have a policy she doesn't like it. For heavens sake Christina, why are you a Conservative? You are clearly one of the very small minority who 'don't get it' and are stuck in the past. Grow up and move with the times.


Well done on getting such a cheap diesel car. I wish I could have emulated you but my searches had no such luck. In any event my understanding is that so much energy goes into making cars we should not punish people for holding on to them; surely far more green than building new ones. As for "accusations of how Conservatives supposedly don't know what being poor is like", think this is probably fair comment as regards the majority of the leadership and perhaps I should have limited my comment to that.

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