Costs of Pandering to "Fuel Lobby"

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by [Not Responding], Oct 5, 2004.

  1. At the beeb

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3716346.stm

    The chancellor's decision to cave in to the fuel protest four years
    ago is costing the government £2 billion a year, according to a
    Treasury source.

    Protests by the People's Fuel Lobby caused major traffic problems
    The source confirmed a report of the Economic and Social Research
    Council that the cut on duty on petrol and diesel has left an enduring
    hole in the chancellor's coffers.

    Research by Stephen Potter at the Open University and Graham Parkhurst
    at the University of the West of England calculates that if Gordon
    Brown continues to avoid inflation-proofing fuel tax rises, the loss
    to the Treasury will reach £3.5bn before long.

    The Treasury source would not comment on future tax plans.

    Mr Potter said this showed that far from suffering stealth tax rises
    over the past few years, motorists had enjoyed stealth tax cuts.

    Meanwhile figures from the Office of National Statistics confirm that
    despite high oil prices, the cost of motoring, including buying and
    running a car, has actually gone down since Labour came to power.

    More affordable motoring

    The latest figures show that between 1977 and 2003 incomes rose 28.8%,
    bus and coach fares 24.6%, rail fares 18.6% and motoring costs just
    9.7%.

    This runs counter to Labour's original plan to encourage public
    transport and get people out of their cars.

    The AA Trust agreed that overall motoring costs had fallen in real
    terms - but said the government should still spend more of its
    motoring taxes on transport.

    The Conservatives first mooted road pricing in the early 90s but
    then opposed its introduction in London


    The Conservatives said Labour has still hugely increased the tax taken
    from drivers, even if motoring had become more affordable.

    Tim Yeo, the Conservative transport spokesman, confirmed that his
    party planned to increase the costs on gas-guzzling 4x4s in order to
    persuade drivers to buy less polluting cars.

    The Tories' deregulation supremo John Redwood also re-iterated his
    personal opinion that road pricing was the best way ahead.

    This is still being debated by the Conservatives, who first mooted
    road pricing in the early 90s but then opposed its introduction in
    London.

    The Conservatives introduced the fuel tax escalator in 1993 to combat
    climate change and raise finance for the Treasury by notching up taxes
    year on year.

    The tax rises did stimulate the production of more efficient vehicles
    and for a while actually slowed down the annual increase in traffic,
    according to Imperial College London.

    But the fuel protest in 2000 persuaded the Chancellor to cut petrol
    duty and he's been swayed by campaigners not to increase it again.
     
    Tags:


  2. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    [Not Responding] wrote:
    > At the beeb
    >
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3716346.stm
    >
    > The chancellor's decision to cave in to the fuel protest four years
    > ago is costing the government £2 billion a year, according to a
    > Treasury source.


    You could insert "Daily Mail readership" instead of Fuel Lobby. What
    annoys me is that for years we all protested to Thatcher et al about
    this that and the other and they said "sod off, if you want to make a
    protest do it at the ballot box" well we did and now the boot is on the
    other foot they don't like it, same as F** h*****g. What ever happened
    to democracy?
     
  3. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest


    >
    > Meanwhile figures from the Office of National Statistics confirm that
    > despite high oil prices, the cost of motoring, including buying and
    > running a car, has actually gone down since Labour came to power.
    >
    > More affordable motoring
    >
    > The latest figures show that between 1977 and 2003 incomes rose 28.8%,
    > bus and coach fares 24.6%, rail fares 18.6% and motoring costs just
    > 9.7%.
    >

    Don't thank labour for the reduction in motoring costs.

    A lot of that is down to;

    Cheaper new cars
    Much cheaper second hand cars
    Improved fuel efficiency
    Cheaper servicing
    More reliability

    My wife's 1997 car cost 12700ukp and did 42mpg (Renault). Her 2003 purchase
    (Toyota - also 1600 cc; It is a fair comparison of vehicles) has more stuff
    in it and cost 11700ukp, it does 46 mpg.


    In 6 years her new car will use 125 gallons less fuel, lose 1000ukp less in
    depreciation* and by the look of it will cost less to service and use fewer
    tyres (*it will probably have a higher % residual value). This amounts to a
    reduction in running cost of 250ukp per year.

    John
     
  4. Eatmorepies wrote:

    > Don't thank labour for the reduction in motoring costs.
    >
    > A lot of that is down to;
    >
    > Cheaper new cars


    Yes, although prices were really held down at the bottom end of the
    range. You get more kit for your money at the top end, although prices
    never really fell.

    > Much cheaper second hand cars


    Certainly

    > Improved fuel efficiency


    No, because car weight has increased about 40% in 10 years, wiping out
    the undoubted improvements in engine technology. Pub statistic: the
    average fuel efficiency of a new US car is the lowest for 22 years, and
    we can't be far behind with all those SUVs and MPVs.

    > Cheaper servicing


    Er...no. Servicing costs have gone through the roof since new car
    prices fell - some VW dealers want over £100/hour for labour now.
    Service *intervals* have lengthened in mileage terms, to please fleet
    buyers, but the time intervals generally haven't - so you still get
    shafted once a year even if you only do 4,000 miles.
     
  5. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest


    >
    > > Cheaper servicing

    >
    > Er...no. Servicing costs have gone through the roof since new car
    > prices fell - some VW dealers want over £100/hour for labour now.
    > Service *intervals* have lengthened in mileage terms, to please fleet
    > buyers, but the time intervals generally haven't - so you still get
    > shafted once a year even if you only do 4,000 miles.
    >


    Last week I paid 62ukp for a 10000 mile service. I was told the menu price
    for a 20000 mile service is 84 ukp. This is much less than I paid per year
    on my previous car. (Was a Nissan, is now a Toyota).

    Labour was given as 20 ukp plus vat. The rest was oil, filter and sundries.
    This sounds like expensive oil and filter but for the magic stamp and the
    once over by a mechanic that might well know what to look for I don't mind
    too much.

    John
     
  6. MartinM wrote:
    > [Not Responding] wrote:
    > > At the beeb
    > >
    > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3716346.stm
    > >

    What ever happened
    > to democracy?


    Democracy: Three wolves and a sheep vote on what to have for dinner.
    or
    Every poloticians moto: Those are my principles, and if you don't like
    them, well... I have others.

    I believe a Greek also said, If voting could change things it would be
    illegal although tis has been used so many times by so many people it
    seems it is ascribed to about a hundred people.
    Sniper8052
     
  7. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > MartinM wrote:
    > > [Not Responding] wrote:
    > > > At the beeb
    > > >
    > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3716346.stm
    > > >

    > What ever happened
    > > to democracy?

    >
    > Democracy: Three wolves and a sheep vote on what to have for dinner.


    I like that one.

    What pisses me off about the Fuel protestors is that Gord is supposed
    to plan his budget in the vagueries of the oil price; when it goes up
    he is supposed to take less tax so as not to upset the Fuel lobby?;
    what a load of tosh.
     
  8. Eatmorepies wrote:
    > >
    > > Meanwhile figures from the Office of National Statistics confirm

    that
    > > despite high oil prices, the cost of motoring, including buying and
    > > running a car, has actually gone down since Labour came to power.
    > >
    > > More affordable motoring
    > >
    > > The latest figures show that between 1977 and 2003 incomes rose

    28.8%,
    > > bus and coach fares 24.6%, rail fares 18.6% and motoring costs just
    > > 9.7%.
    > >

    > Don't thank labour for the reduction in motoring costs.
    >
    > A lot of that is down to;
    >
    > Cheaper new cars
    > Much cheaper second hand cars
    > Improved fuel efficiency
    > Cheaper servicing
    > More reliability
    >
    > My wife's 1997 car cost 12700ukp and did 42mpg (Renault). Her 2003

    purchase
    > (Toyota - also 1600 cc; It is a fair comparison of vehicles) has more

    stuff
    > in it and cost 11700ukp, it does 46 mpg.
    >
    >
    > In 6 years her new car will use 125 gallons less fuel, lose 1000ukp

    less in
    > depreciation* and by the look of it will cost less to service and use

    fewer
    > tyres (*it will probably have a higher % residual value). This

    amounts to a
    > reduction in running cost of 250ukp per year.
    >
    > John


    The true costs of all this improved fuel efficiency are that after
    nearly 30+ years of development we still have not progressed far enough
    to move a standard vehicle much further than my mothers mini 1000 in
    1970's. She got 50mpg then and I get 60mpg from my Vauxhall Corsa. I
    dont call that very good considering mine is fuel injected and computer
    controlled.
    There are vehicles out there that can replace ICE vehicles NOW but are
    suppressed by the vehicle producers. Air powered taxis in Mexico,
    EPV's are big in the States but only among Home Builders.
    Vectrix are to bring out a scooter, allegedly, with a 70 mile range and
    performance of 250cc MB.
    Yes motoring is cheap but if I could go anywhere usefull on a push bike
    I would. The government need to build long range cycle routes which
    actually connect towns to other towns without going miles out of the
    way to avoid any chance of meeting a vehicle. A line painted on the
    road is a farce for a cycle path. Invest some proper money and stop
    wasting it on hair brained, ill considered schemes to teach people how
    to ride a bike. Give them a bike for crying out loud they will soon
    learn if they have somewhere to go and the infrastructure to get them
    there especially if there are plenty of bike racks to park it in when
    they get there. Anyone been to Leiden Station? Wow thats what I call
    bike provision.
    Sniper8052
     
  9. On Tue, 5 Oct 2004 20:45:57 +0100, "Eatmorepies"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >Don't thank labour for the reduction in motoring costs.


    According to a spokesman for the MRTP on the radio this AM< the cost
    of motoring has gone up, when you ignore the costs that have gone
    down. At least I think that's what he was saying.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  10. What's is it with some of you on this ng that are so bitter and twisted
    about car users. I ride a bike and do it primarily for the exercise. The
    fact that it's environmenatlly friendly is a bonus but I wouldn't do it for
    that reason alone. I also drive a car which is quite large as I tow a
    caravan, so yes I don't see why we should have to pay some of the highest
    prices in Europe for fuel. The motorist in this country is just considered
    to be a cash cow whereas in other countries, the attitude is that people
    need cars to go about their daily business and treat them accordingly.
    Also consider that every single item you buy is transported at some point by
    a lorry and it's some of these people that are being totally screwed and
    put out of business by this incompetent government. And whilst I.m on a rant
    I don't see why I should have to pay high taxes just to support scroungers,
    single mothers and immigrants who come into this country and go straight on
    to benefits.

    "MartinM" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> MartinM wrote:
    >> > [Not Responding] wrote:
    >> > > At the beeb
    >> > >
    >> > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3716346.stm
    >> > >

    >> What ever happened
    >> > to democracy?

    >>
    >> Democracy: Three wolves and a sheep vote on what to have for dinner.

    >
    > I like that one.
    >
    > What pisses me off about the Fuel protestors is that Gord is supposed
    > to plan his budget in the vagueries of the oil price; when it goes up
    > he is supposed to take less tax so as not to upset the Fuel lobby?;
    > what a load of tosh.
    >
     
  11. " [Not Responding] " <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > At the beeb
    >
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3716346.stm
    >
    > The chancellor's decision to cave in to the fuel protest four years
    > ago is costing the government £2 billion a year, according to a
    > Treasury source.
    >


    And if he hadn't it would have cost fuel users £2 billion a year. That's
    not just motorists, that's all of us that use fuel including the fuel used
    to carry goods and services that we consume. You could as well say they are
    losing billions by not implementing a 90% basic rate of income tax. Just
    think how much more of our money the government would get if they did - but
    would they get in again?

    Anyway, IIRC, the protests were about continuing to apply the tax escalator
    when crude prices were rising anyway, which in itself was increasing the tax
    take from the taxes already being applied, and which, consequently, were
    already exacerbating the rise in the price of fuel. By not continuing the
    escalator, the Chancellor, perhaps, is not so much losing tax, as failing to
    gain a windfall from taxes on top of increasing taxes arising from the
    rising price of crude. Since crude is still rising anyway, fuel prices will
    rise anyway, and so will the tax take, even without the escalator. Plus he
    earns more money from North Sea oil when crude prices rise. So if he's still
    having problems maybe someone else should take over the books?

    Also, it seems those calculations must be based on assumptions about people
    not actually reducing their mileage too significantly as a result of
    increased fuel tax/prices. What if they did? Would they then complain about
    the cost to the Treasury because people weren't driving enough? The
    Treasury doesn't have any intrinsic right to take money from any particular
    section of the community in preference to others.

    > Research by Stephen Potter at the Open University and Graham Parkhurst
    > at the University of the West of England calculates that if Gordon
    > Brown continues to avoid inflation-proofing fuel tax rises, the loss
    > to the Treasury will reach £3.5bn before long.
    >


    So he has options to tax something else or spend less. There's no
    particular reason why fuel in the UK should be more expensive than anywhere
    else in Europe just to finance the Chancellor's spending plans. If it was
    being reinvested in public transport infrastructure (including the rail
    network..) then ok, but I don't think that's really on the agenda.

    Rich
     
  12. AndyMorris

    AndyMorris Guest

    Paul Saunders wrote:

    > Also consider that every single item you buy is transported at some
    > point by a lorry and it's some of these people that are being totally
    > screwed and put out of business by this incompetent government.


    They all pay the same tax and offer their services in the same market, so
    no, they are going out of business because there is a surplus of supply in
    the road transport industry.


    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK


    Love this:
    Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  13. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Richard
    Goodman <[email protected]> gently breathed:

    >So he has options to tax something else or spend less. There's no
    >particular reason why fuel in the UK should be more expensive than anywhere
    >else in Europe just to finance the Chancellor's spending plans. If it was
    >being reinvested in public transport infrastructure (including the rail
    >network..) then ok, but I don't think that's really on the agenda.


    Wasn't part of the fuel protests supposed to be that the govt had
    introduced the escalator saying they'd spend the extra money on public
    transport, yet PT services got worse instead of better?

    Of course if the previous administration had spent billions on the
    railways, instead of spending billions on privatising the railways, we
    would already have a first rate transport system.

    --
    - Pyromancer Stormshadow.
    http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk <-- Pagan Gothic Rock!
    http://www.littlematchgirl.co.uk <-- Electronic Metal!
    http://www.revival.stormshadow.com <-- The Gothic Revival.
     
  14. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Paul Saunders wrote:
    > What's is it with some of you on this ng that are so bitter and

    twisted
    > about car users.


    this topic is about fuel protesters mostly lead by HGV drivers, not car
    users

    so yes I don't see why we should have to pay some of the highest
    > prices in Europe for fuel.


    The tax burden of the UK is by no means the highest in the EU as this
    chart demonstrates:
    http://www.oecdobserver.org/images//1166.photo.jpg

    The motorist in this country is just considered
    > to be a cash cow whereas in other countries, the attitude is that

    people
    > need cars to go about their daily business and treat them

    accordingly.

    We have lower income tax and VAT rates and higher rates on eg fuel,
    tobacco, alcohol than some other countries. The fuel escalator was also
    partly introduced as an environmental measure; and was abolished in
    2000 when the Chancellor added an extra 2p/l duty.

    > Also consider that every single item you buy is transported at some

    point by
    > a lorry and it's some of these people that are being totally screwed

    and
    > put out of business by this incompetent government.


    By an extra 2p in fuel duty which they presumably pass on?

    And whilst I.m on a rant
    > I don't see why I should have to pay high taxes just to support

    scroungers,
    > single mothers and immigrants who come into this country and go

    straight on
    > to benefits.


    again; we have a democracy, and a forthcoming election; I'm sure the
    UKIP would be more than happy to take these issues on for you.
     
  15. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    [email protected] [email protected] opined the following...
    > The government need to build long range cycle routes which
    > actually connect towns to other towns without going miles out of the
    > way to avoid any chance of meeting a vehicle. A line painted on the
    > road is a farce for a cycle path. Invest some proper money and stop
    > wasting it on hair brained, ill considered schemes to teach people how
    > to ride a bike.


    I don't even want cycle facilities. I want signposting that is relevant
    to cyclists. Example: Peterborough - Huntingdon by bike. The best route
    is to use the old A1 which runs down the side of the A1(M). It's a good
    quality road, very quiet (All the traffic is on the A1(M)), very fast.
    To reach it from Peterborough Station I ended up on the A15 because the
    only signposts assume that you're in a car. Once I finally reached it
    (Took some doing... no signposts and an unusual crossing of the A1!) at
    _every_ junction there was a signpost for Huntingdon which would put you
    onto the motorway. A smaller sign on each post showing which exit to
    take would not actually hurt and would enable cyclists to travel
    reasonable distances by bike without having to take a selection of maps.

    Jon
     
  16. Howard

    Howard Guest

    "Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote

    > The motorist in this country is just considered
    > to be a cash cow whereas in other countries, the attitude is that people
    > need cars to go about their daily business and treat them accordingly.


    Er, I think you meant to say 'in the UK the car is king and if you
    don't use a car to get around for every journey you are considered to
    be a third class citizen. Cyclists especially are treated with
    contempt by drivers and highway authorities who attempt marginalise
    cyclists even further by creating dangerous and pointless 'cycle
    facilities' whilst UK public transport is the most poorly funded in
    Europe. On the continent much more effort is made to regulate car use
    effectively and to make the options of walking, cycling or using
    public transport more attractive than using a car.'


    > Also consider that every single item you buy is transported at some point by
    > a lorry and it's some of these people that are being totally screwed and
    > put out of business by this incompetent government.



    Er, a friend of mine works in the haulage industry and the real
    problem is the number of owner-operators who are in competition with
    each other. If fuel duty was lowered all they would do is cut their
    prices a little and the cut-throat competition would continue as
    before...


    > And whilst I.m on a rant
    > I don't see why I should have to pay high taxes just to support scroungers,
    > single mothers and immigrants who come into this country and go straight on
    > to benefits.
    >


    High taxes? Many European countries pay more in taxes than we do. The
    big difference is that here the tax burden on the rich is less than in
    most other countries. Do you object to having to pay more tax than you
    otherwise might because the super-wealthy in the UK can sit on their
    arses raking in the dividends from their 'investments' and pay no more
    income tax than a skilled worker?

    I guess you comments do illustrate well the right-wing, authoritarian-
    hierarchical view of most of those who attempt to fatuously argue that
    'The Great British Motorist' (Copyright the AA) gets a raw deal. Yeah,
    right!
     
  17. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Paul Saunders
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > What's is it with some of you on this ng that are so bitter and
    > twisted about car users. I ride a bike and do it primarily for the
    > exercise. The fact that it's environmenatlly friendly is a bonus but I
    > wouldn't do it for that reason alone. I also drive a car which is
    > quite large as I tow a caravan, so yes I don't see why we should have
    > to pay some of the highest prices in Europe for fuel. The motorist in
    > this country is just considered to be a cash cow whereas in other
    > countries, the attitude is that people need cars to go about their
    > daily business and treat them accordingly.


    At least 90% of us who use this newsgroup drive cars. For many years I
    didn't, and instead used a bike as my main form of transport; but I
    enjoy driving and I like my truck (which is, I freely admit, one of the
    hated 4x4 SUV things). But the thing is, just because you drive, just
    because you enjoy driving, doesn't need to blind you to what cars are
    doing to our society and to our environment. It is possible at the same
    time to enjoy a thing and know it is antisocial, unsafe and damaging.

    So, personally, I drive. I have in thirty years of driving been fined
    twice for speeding, and I've paid my fines without resentment because I
    knew perfectly well that I deserved them. And I pay my petrol taxes
    without resentment, either, not only because it slows the exploitation
    of a scarce resource, but also because, let's face it, if you enjoy
    driving (and I do) then you enjoy driving on clear roads, not sitting
    in traffic queues; and if driving becomes more expensive and everyone
    can afford to do less of it, when we do drive the roads will be clearer
    and it will be more fun. Fuel tax is a way - an inefficient way - of
    rationing road space (congestion charging would be better).

    > Also consider that every
    > single item you buy is transported at some point by
    > a lorry and it's some of these people that are being totally screwed
    > and put out of business by this incompetent government.


    At one point all of one of the major supermarket chains sandwiches were
    being made in Aberdeen (this may still be true, I don't know; it
    certainly was five years ago). So they were trucking ingredients up to
    Aberdeen and then trucking fresh sandwiches from Aberdeen down to
    Cornwall. That's an extreme example, but that sort of thing is going on
    all the time. I live within ten miles of two creameries, both of which
    make butter. If I go into my local supermarket, I can buy butter from
    one of my local creameries (the less good one), but I can also buy
    butter - no cheaper, and certainly no better - shipped from Denmark,
    Holland or New Zealand. And with all due respect to the good dairy
    farmers of New Zealand, that's no benefit to me.

    Yes, we get huge amounts of goods trucked in. Yes, we're burning up huge
    amounts of the not-very-much fossil hydrocarbon still left on the
    planet doing it. But frankly a lot of this is just inefficiency and
    waste. There really isn't any point in shipping butter from Denmark to
    Scotland when at the same time we're shipping very similar butter from
    Scotland back to Denmark.

    > And whilst I.m
    > on a rant I don't see why I should have to pay high taxes just to
    > support scroungers, single mothers and immigrants who come into this
    > country and go straight on to benefits.


    In summary, truck drivers are no more deserving of a free ride at
    everyone else's expense than farmers or any other scroungers. If
    there's an economic basis to their activity, the market will provide
    them with an adequate income. If there's no economic basis, they should
    move on and do something else which actually is needed.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; It appears that /dev/null is a conforming XSL processor.
     
  18. Howard

    Howard Guest

  19. Howard

    Howard Guest

    I would suggest that it is about time the huge subsidies paid to
    private motorists were cut and they were required to meet the full
    cost their car use imposes on society.

    (Yes, I know will someone try to argue that they 'need' their car for
    work and so the 'benefit' their job makes to the economy should be
    added to the equation. However, the benefit from one's employment is
    independent of one's mode of travel. Most bosses don't mind if you get
    to work by bus, bike or hanglider as long as you get there!. If we
    accepted such a view we would also have to accept that people who
    cycle or walk to work or use public transport users should be getting
    huge tax breaks or that there shoule be a huge public subsidy of such
    modes of transport due to the economic benefit arising from the jobs
    done by their users...)

    Anyhow, various calculation of the cost of car use on society above
    that raised by taxation have been made in the past. For example,
    Whitelegg in ‘Traffic Congestion; is there a way out? (1992)
    calculated that motorists pay only 27% of the cost car use imposes on
    society, with the total annual subsidy being £1000 per car per year.
    The CTC's report ‘Costing the benefits: The value of cycling' (1992)
    took figures provides by bodies such as the DoT, AA and CBI to
    calculate the total cost of car use in the UK to be £34 Billion,
    again well in excess of income from car and fuel taxation at that
    time. (This was prior to the introduction of the fuel tax escalator
    by the old Tories in 1993, in turn abolished by the new Tories in
    2001). However, these figures are now well out of date with some going
    back to 1986. For example, in the report for the CTC deaths and
    injuries were costed at £4.8 billion per year whilst more recent DfT
    figures show the cost as of 2001 to be over £16 billion per year.

    More recent figures from the Friends of the Earth put the total
    ‘environmental' cost of car use at £43 billion a year as against £24
    billion raised in taxation. However, such a figure includes some hard
    to quantify factors. Further, how far should we go in our
    calculations? The impact on house prices of having a busy road nearby?
    The costs of new sea defences to cope with rising sea levels due to
    global warming? The coast of fighting a war in order to secure oil
    supplies so as to keep cars on the road? In any case how are the human
    costs of cars to be calculated such as the fear of traffic or the
    restriction of the freedom of children?

    This led me to look up some more up to date figures to see just how
    much car use is currently subsidised through general taxation,
    focusing on easily quantifiable costs rather then more ‘social' costs
    such as the impact of traffic on the individuals quality of life.

    One document of interest is the European Scrutiny Committee's 24th
    report for 2002-2003 ‘The taxation of fuel in the European Union'
    available at http://www.parliament.uk/index.cfm

    This is primarily concerned with proposals to harmonise fuel duty in
    the EU. However, it does note that the calculated environmental cost
    of driving a car on London street is around £1.90 km or £3.08 mile.
    Given a fuel cost of £3.80 gallon of which 72% is tax (including VAT)
    or £2.74, at 30 MPG the driver is paying only 9p mile or only 3% of
    the true total ‘external' cost. (OK at a lower MPG the driver pays a
    little more but then the level of pollution is higher too).

    Another interesting report is the Health and Safety Executives
    ‘Reducing at-work road traffic incidents' (2003). This notes that the
    cost of road accidents in Great Britain in 1999 in human terms was
    3,423 people were killed, 39,122 seriously injured and 277,765
    slightly injured, with there also being 3.5 million damage only
    crashes. The financial cost of these deaths and injuries, as
    calculated by the DTLR was £16.3 billion.

    Now, according to Government figures there are about 32 million
    registered car drivers and 25 million licenced cars, with another 1.7
    million unlicenced cars on the road. Fuel duty raises around £24
    billion per year. Obviously the cost of road deaths and injuries at
    over £16 billion a year makes quite a dent in this on its own...

    As has been in the news recently, another quantifiable cost of car use
    relates to the fact the car dependent who live a sedentary lifestyle
    place a high burden on the health service due to the high rates of
    diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer and
    so on which they are prone to.

    I haven't seen any UK based figures on this but a report called
    ‘Cost-benefit analyses of walking & cycling track networks in
    Norwegian cities' by Kjartan Saelensminde and published by the
    Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo, 2002 does look at this and a
    number of other ‘external' costs of car use.

    In this report, in order not to overstate the benefits of a less car
    dependent lifestyle, the author assumes only 50% of people would
    benefit from a more active lifestyle. He also only costs for 4
    diseases related to inactivity. On this assumption he calculates that,
    on average, every driver who becomes moderately active by walking or
    cycling saves the Norwegian economy an average of £605 per year. (Or
    an average of £1210 for those for who a ‘prescription for exercise'
    works and nothing for those who still require treatment). See

    http://www.toi.no/toi_Data/Attachments/887/sum_567_02.pdf

    Home http://www.vti.se/nordic/2-02mapp/contents.htm

    We already know that UK cyclists are much less likely to suffer a
    range of diseases then habitual car drivers. We also know that there
    is plenty of opportunity for motorists to cycle instead of driving.
    Half of all car journeys are less then 3 miles in length and so could
    be easily cycled as part of an active lifestyle (as they are in
    Holland, Denmark, Germany...)

    Given the UK has 31.7 Million licence holders, and the fact that the
    UK is just about the least active country in Europe, if we also assume
    that just 50% of those would benefit from a more active lifestyle, our
    £605 per head gives a total avoidable cost to the health service due
    to ill-health related to car-dependency of £9.6 billion pounds per
    year. It might be suggested that not all drivers are in a position to
    cycle or walk more. However in Holland 67% of the population are
    ‘regular' cyclists... Next time you are sat in an emergency department
    for hours after being knocked off your bike wondering where all the
    NHS's money goes, now you know...

    Saelensmind states (converting for the £) ‘A physically inactive
    person who starts to walk or bike to work instead of using car or
    public transport, gives an economic benefit to the society of £1,800
    to £2,370, according to the analysis. If the person is physically
    active prior to the change from motorised transport to walking or
    cycling, the benefit is £327 to £900 a year.'

    Currently a driver doing 10,000 miles a year at 35 MPG pays about £780
    in fuel duty and VAT and pays a vehicle licence of say £140 year
    giving a total of just £920. (And unlike many continental motorists UK
    drivers don't pay for using motorways). (I am not arguing for the
    total accuracy of my figures, but I do think they are indicative).

    So, taking just the costs of dealing with ‘accidental' road killings
    and injuries and the cost of treating lardy arsed drivers for
    expensive and largely avoidable ailments such as heart disease, it is
    apparent that the costs of these alone uses up the revenue raised by
    ‘road tax' and fuel duty. Oh, and someone still has to pay for the
    roads. That'll be us habitual cyclists and walkers who need less
    expensive NHS care and don't run down and kill or maim people...
     
  20. iarocu

    iarocu Guest

    Pyromancer <[email protected]> wrote in message > >So he has options to tax something else or spend less. There's no
    > >particular reason why fuel in the UK should be more expensive than anywhere
    > >else in Europe just to finance the Chancellor's spending plans. If it was
    > >being reinvested in public transport infrastructure (including the rail
    > >network..) then ok, but I don't think that's really on the agenda.



    Petrol is taxed purely to raise revenue. If the goverment wanted to
    change behavior by taxing a fuel they could start with aviation fuel.
    It has zero tax resulting in day trips by air to various european
    cities being widely advertised at low cost.
    And the next thing he could do is ban garden centers from selling
    patio heaters.
    Iain
     
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