Earlier today David Cameron gave a warm welcome to the Quality of Life policy group’s recommendations:
"This report is probably the most thoughtful and comprehensive and fullest report that any party in Britain has produced on the environment. I think it is a very good report and there is much of it that we will include in our manifesto."
In an attempt to increase the credibility of his promise that every £1 increase in green taxation will pay for a £1 reduction in family taxation he has also announced the creation of a ring-fenced ‘Family Fund’. All revenues from green taxation will go into the Fund and will be allocated to cuts in family tax. Although ConservativeHome opposes higher green taxes, we warmly approve of Mr Cameron’s choice of tax cutting priorities. David Cameron said:
“We are prepared to make tough choices. We have said very clearly that taxes on pollution will go up. Those increases will be offset pound for pound by reductions in family taxes to help people meet the rising cost of living. We will establish a family fund into which all of the new taxes on pollution will go. That money will be ring fenced – no civil servants will be able to get there hands on it – and it will be independently audited so we can guarantee that increased taxes on pollution will be offset by a reduction on family taxes.”
This message was immediately undermined by Zac Goldsmith, however. Justifying higher taxation of domestic flights he told BBC News 24 that the revenues raised would be used to improve rail services. Although Mr Goldsmith does not speak for the frontbench he is a parliamentary candidate and it is unhelpful for the public to be receiving such mixed messages.
- "The Quality of Life report is based on suspect analysis and its recommendations will be harmful. Increased taxes, more regulation, more quangos, a curb of vital infrastructure development and an attack on free trade would hurt British families and businesses and damage our economic competitiveness.
- The report will not command public support. A recent TaxPayers’ Alliance/YouGov poll showed strong public scepticism about the efficacy of green taxes and the motives of politicians in recommending them.
- Further green taxes are unnecessary and would be economically damaging. A recent study by the TaxPayers’ Alliance showed that green taxes are already £10 billion higher than the level need to cover the cost of Britain’s carbon footprint – £400 for every household. The report also showed that there are serious flaws in all the major green taxes."