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Worth adding that Aesop might not be always right. As Danny Finkelstein has mentioned a few times, Prospect Theory dictates that people lose a lot more satisfaction from losing something (i.e. being fined) than they gain satisfaction from gaining something (tax relief, say) of equivalent value.

Yes, but paying people to recycle is yet another proposed burden on public expenditure at a time when we should be urging restraint.

I won't be cheering for George until he is proposing significant and substantial tax cuts, and the spending cuts to pay for them,
rather than merely tax redistribution and simplification.

The economy is collapsing around us as unemployment starts to rise and all the Chancellor can do is waste his time and our patience rabbiting about trivia. John C above says part of it!

Has he any economic policy at all or is he still wedded to doing what Brown does ? (Which got us into this mess and digs us in deeper each day.)

For that matter has the blog noticed the credit crunch and the recession ?

Given Kaletsky's record...wasn't he saying there wouldn't be a downturn?...if he says the era of cheap oil is over I would start shorting it!

John, when they adopted a similar approach in Germany, they discovered that it actually cost them less to reward people in this fashion than it cost to deal with fly tipping, illegal dumping, and other things of that ilk. Even if you look at it from a cost-saving perspective, this is a winning proposal.

Why do we not just get local government to recycle like some state in america did? People wouldn't mind paying the extra tax if it means they don't need to do anything and the government increases recycling.

Everybody wins!

I think Osborne's ideas are excellent - carrot much better than stick. No wonder Labour trolls and Murdoch employees feel impelled to post negative vibes.

Stick to your guns, Gorgeous George. Labour has run out of ideas and by the look of some of these posts, so have quite a few tories.

Really excellent approach and very pertinent in exposing Labour's past-its-sell-by-date thinking.

P.S. Loved the Dithering Heights gag.

So does the ConHome editorial team still believe that he should be shunted across to become party chairman?

Remind me what his qualifications are to be Chancellor?

* Never had a real job.

* Lives off a gigantic trust fund.

* Lies about the tax cut pledges of the previous government.

Did I miss anything?

Did I miss anything?

Really irritates lefty trolls?

And Gordon Brown's qualifications to be Chancellor were????????

Really irritates lefty trolls?

Oy, Prentiz

People who don't rate Gideon are lefty trolls? I find that insulting.

You're spot on with the wind and the sun. This fable should be at the heart of much of what we do. If we want to change behaviour, we have to be clever about it.

I'd bet 'Watervole' is one of his employees.

What must one do to stop Osborne - and, it seems, readers of the blog and even the blog itself - being obsessed with trivia.

Nero's apocryphal fiddling while rome burned has nothing on a Shadow Chancellor who ignores the house falling down around him and the inhabitants losing their jobs, their pensions ans - some - their homes.

When is he going to talk ab out the crisis and the party's reaction to it.

"As I was going up the stair, / I met a man who wasn't there. / He wasn't there again today. / I wish to hell he'd go away." Mr Not There Osborne

I wonder what prompted Kaletsky's change of heart? His support for Brown's policies used to verge on the deranged and now he seems to dislike GB with a passion. No chance of becoming Sir Anatole now methinks!
Rare point of agreement with Christina Speight, this speech does seem very lightweight. With the economic problems we're facing I think George would have had little time to concenrate on anything else.

Hmm. Seems to me that there is an assumption that low recycling rates are the faults of individuals. While this may be so in part one of the reasons is that lots of things cant be recycled so punishing or rewarding people is irrelevant. Where I live collection of card and plastic bottles and tin foil has recently been introduced so the amount my family recycles has effectively doubled. However I think in most part of the country these aren't collected (and I don't know whether everywhere has kerbside recycling yet at all). Even with the expansion of what can be recycled there are many things that can't be recycled including bizarrely most sorts of plastics including lids, standard packaging and so on. I'm sure I don't need to say how mad it is not to be recycling this whilst compelling people to recycle perfectly biodegradable kitchen scraps for which landfill remains the most sensible thing. Indeed the local Conservative council got thrown out last year and its not impossible that anger at the recycling system was part. of the cause. This was the very common form of compelling people by making standard collection fortnightly and rationing the amount that could be collected to what will fit in a single bin regardless of the number of people living somewhere. It would engender a lot less public ill-will if people weren't treated in this way. It is madness to ration the amount people can throw away when there is so much people can't recycle and that it is hard to avoid throwing away. I know I would like to recycle more and would do so given the opportunity as it seems so wasteful throwing valuable material away (and the local landfill is becoming a new hill where there was once a quarry). It may be naive to think everyone thinks the same but it would seem to me that it would be better to not enrage people with stupid policies and to make as many things a possible able to be recycled before resorting to pressurizing people (though of course when it comes to persuading people encouragement is better ). I think there may even be a role for - dare I say it - regulation. One idea might be to have instructions on everything for how to dispose of it. Either a lot more things need to be able to be recycled or different material more suited to recycling needs to be used. For instance Tesco swiss milk chocolate (good value and much to be recommended) comes in foil and card which can now be recycled but the Sainsbury's equivalent (not quite as good and more expensive) comes in paper backed foil that can't be recycled - i.e. paper backed foil needs to be recyclable or only standard foil used and similarly for everything in order to make as much as possible recyclable.
I am sorry for not being brief.

This sort of drivel will be even funnier if Osborne tries it when he's the real Chancellor.

Osborne would be a good chancellor because he could use his personal wealth to help the country out of its financial difficulties, plus he went to a very good school and is descending from the aristocracy which means that he understands ruling the nation genetically.

As a resident of Northern Ireland, I already have about 5 bins to recycle in - I'm sure my family would be overjoyed to be paid for doing what we already do.

That's the problem. This is just a move for popularity, which will probably bite GO in the bottom if/when he doesn't do it. However, if it encourages people to recycle and is economical - go Osborne!

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