Hilary Benn has enraged motorists by saying the rising cost of motoring is a good thing
14 July 2008

Cabinet minister Hilary Benn enraged car drivers yesterday by claiming the rising cost of motoring is a good thing.

The rocketing cost of fuel and road tax was an "incentive" for drivers to make fewer journeys, said Benn.

The environment secretary admitted it was Government policy to provide "encouragement" for drivers to use their cars less. He told the BBC's Politics Show that high prices were "a fact of life", essential to a low carbon future.

“When one looks at the price of petrol and diesel, well that ... is acting as an incentive to everyone, to try and reduce use of fuel and reduce emissions”, said the minister.

Benn also launched a robust defence of the Government's controversial plans to raise road tax, insisting it was right for the proposed 2010 tax hikes to apply to second-hand vehicles.

Last week the chancellor, Alistair Darling, said that he would look closely again at the road tax proposals, in the face of a backbench rebellion over the issue.

Downing Street will be unhappy with Benn's comments. The PM's press machine has been keen to emphasise its 'on the voters side' in the face of increasing concern about the rising cost of living. Prime minister Gordon Brown is said to be so concerned about voter unrest that he plans to cancel a 2p rise in fuel duty in October.

But angry motoring groups today warned that millions of families couldn't afford to change their car in the face of the retrospective road tax. They accused Benn of 'rejoicing in drivers' despair'.

Will Powell

Join the debate


14 July 2008

Hilary Benn is a total c o c k. How exactly will it encourage motorists to make fewer journeys ? Does he think that people just go out for a drive for the sake of it ? Maybe people will economise by not buying insurance or maybe by running their (bald) tyres for 5k miles longer. What else is there to do if they need to use their cars ?

14 July 2008

Regards the picture of Mr Benn with T-shirt on your news story. There's a misspelling on it. Should read instead of 'this is what a feminist looks like', 'this is what a female genitalia looks like'. Can be shortened to the usual four-letter abbreviation if necessary.

14 July 2008

Easy to pi ss the 'little people' off who pay your wages and keep you in the manner you've become acustomed to when you have a red box and a company armoured Jag innit?

I cannot wait for the General Election - I cannot wait.

14 July 2008

When will these people get the idea that manufacturing a new car creates far more CO2 than continuing to run an old one.

I don't agree with any taxation at any part of the car ownership process (I'm not sure any petrol head does), but surely it would make more sense to tax new vehicles at a higher rate.

Mind you, that will probably be the next government scheme - in addition to the 400% increase in road fund licence.

Anyone want to start a new political party - The Common Sense Party! Anything to get these money grabbing B******s out of power.



It's all about the twisties........

14 July 2008

[quote TegTypeR]

Anyone want to start a new political party - The Common Sense Party! Anything to get these money grabbing B******s out of power.


I'm up for that TegTypeR. It would definitely need to be a new party because, last time I checked, none of the current options had any common sense. Some of them don't even have any policies for crying out loud.

14 July 2008

What a complete and utter ****!

Sorry guys.

14 July 2008

I am desperate to speak to Mr Benn about exactly how a retrospective tax can cut CO2 emissions.

My car produces 202 g/km. If they increase tax to £400 it will still produce 202 g/km. If I decide to sell it and buy a prius then someone will buy it, they will use it, and it will STILL produce 202 g/km. If the price of cars like this plummets because of the tax then I won't be able to sell it for another car, i'll be forced to keep it and it will STILL produce 202 g/km. And it's not as if the tax will persuade me to use it less because it is irrespective of milage.

The only way they can cut CO2 in this manner is to tax so unbelievably, stupidly, increadibly, highly that it is better to scrap a £10,000 used car and buy a yaris diesel than pay the tax. And £400 per year isn't even close.

Somebody please explain where the CO2 saving is coming from?

14 July 2008

I think it proves just how much Her Majesty's Government are out of touch with reality. I'm sick of the Government riding off the back of environmental issue's, MP' giving themselves 2% pay rises for f*cking the economy up, riding around in their 4.2l Jaguars (that we all paid for) while preaching to us that we must make more of an effort to use less carbon!

What absolute c***s!

- A little annoyed.

14 July 2008


Petition against the retrospective tax. Sadly it currently only has 18,500 signatures, perhaps it needs a little more publicity.

14 July 2008

Well, I'm a motorist and I'm not angry. In essence, what Benn is saying is unpalatable but correct. The only way we're going to use our cars less is by the inevitable process of being priced out, which is something that rising fuel prices will bring about over time as petrol and diesel become scarcer and more expensive to bring to market. The days of cheap motoring are drawing to a close but people don't want to face up to it. And in the time honoured tradition of every cloud having a silver lining, the environment benefits.


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