Some decent commentary for anybody who, like me, is far from convinced by the road pricing = slippery slope to killing babies hysteria…Firstly, there’s a great fisking of the recent email campaign encouraging people to sign the petition:
The government’s proposal to introduce road pricing will mean you having to purchase a tracking device for your car [they’ve made this up] and paying a monthly bill to use it. The tracking device will cost about £200 [they’ve made this up too] and in a recent study by the BBC, the lowest monthly bill was £28 for a rural florist and £194 for a delivery driver. A non working mother who used the car to take the kids to school paid £86 in one month. [Since the scheme doesn’t exist, none of these people have actually paid anything to anyone. What the BBC did was make assumptions off their own bat of what charges might be, without making any allowance for the savings on petrol tax.]
On the Telegraph’s front page ‘black boxes will cost £600’ article:
…[T]he Telegraph has:
* Assumed that the most expensive variant of the scheme (intelligent black box in every vehicle) is adopted
* Assumed that the maximum estimated cost is the correct one
* Assumed that mass-production for every vehicle in Britain produces no economies of scale
The e-mail comes after 74% of the 1,006 people questioned for a BBC-commissioned survey said they were opposed to charging motorists by the mile.
But 55% of those spoken to said they would change their minds and support such a scheme if the money raised was used to improve public transport.
If you ask me this suggests that the majority aren’t, in fact, opposed to the idea.
More than 25% said nothing would make the policy acceptable to them.
Nothing. Nothing at all would make the policy acceptable to them. The eradication of all taxes and free bouncy castles for everyone? Not enough. Ok, that’s a bit silly. But still. A Downing Street petition (they didn’t tell us it was there!) in favour of road pricing can be found here (via B4L, which also includes links to pro-road-pricing arguments).