There seems to be one thing that the Tory and LibDem leaderships agree on - and that's that climate change is something which must be tackled by increasing so-called environmental taxes. The LibDems have already announced their plans, which involve green taxes partly paying for lower taxes for people in the lower tax bracket. The Conservatives have signalled their intention to follow suit, but the detailed plans won't be announced for some time to come. I'll remain open minded on it until I see the detail.
However, and this is a big however, I was astonished to read in The Sun this morning that Steve Norris is advocating the return of the Fuel Duty Escalator, which would add another 3.5p to the already exhorbitant price of petrol. We already have a Fuel Duty Escalator and it's called the world oil market. Steve is an urban beast - more at home in the city than the countryside. Owning a car in rural areas is not a luxury, it is a necessity for many.
The price of petrol is already threatening the mobility of many low or fixed income earners in the countryside and even more expensive petrol would be yet another blow to them.
The Fuel Duty Escalator is a crude mechanism which is entirely regressive. For Steve to say: "You will see the reintroduction of a fuel duty escalator, I'm quite sure," indicates a certain lack of imagination and flies in the face of a Cameron spokesman who says later in the article: "We will continue to think the unthinkable and examine new ways of doing things."
The Fuel Duty Escalator is not "a new way of doing things". It is regressive, deeply unpopular and should be consigned to the dustbin.