May 08, 2008 | Graham

Johnson forces rethink of global warming taxing strategies

I made a few guesses in this blog post as to how Boris Johnson beat Red Ken Livingstone. The skeptical part of the blogosphere, as in Global Warming skeptics, have thrown their vaunted caution to the winds and embraced the Johnson win as a defeat for global warming hysteria. I doubt it.
The speculations on which my doubts are based are more or less vindicated by this report on YouGov polling. It wasn’t a global warming election, other issues were more important to Londoners, and they saw global warming being used as a justification for ripping them off with taxes.
As this video from the Times Online shows, there was also a high degree of antipathy to Lingstone himself, and a sense of it being time for a change. All of which led to a narrow win by Johnson.
I think you will find the lesson governments take from the London result is not that they should give up on greenhouse gas reductions, but that they must find other ways of eoncouraging them than by specific taxes on individuals.
Boris’s win will just see them adjust and regroup, as this article from the Times suggests, and employ subsidies and soak the rich and corporations strategies which will be less effective, prone to rorting, and more distorting of economic incentives than broader based taxes. Note that the Tories are still proposing cuts in carbon emissions of 80% by 2050, which is 20 percentage points (or 33% proportionately) more hairy-chested than Labour, notwithstanding the London result.

Posted by Graham at 12:03 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. Ken Livingstone’s reputation for excessive drinking may have been a factor.

    Comment by Terry — May 11, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

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