The fuel tax has gotten a lot of bad press lately....

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Britain fuel tax: good or bad?
Good 44%  44%  [ 4 ]
Bad 56%  56%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 9


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01 Jun 2008, 4:07 pm

Sargon wrote:
If the UK had public transportation like that of Switzerland, high fuel taxes would be reasonable. In London, public transportation is merely extortionate; it's dysfunctional pretty much everywhere else. Unless there are good alternatives to flying and driving, fuel taxes are merely a revenue-raising scheme.

The UK government recognizes that demand slopes downward and there is a price elasticity demand on the price of gas. By increasing the price of gas, consumers will try and use alternatives, which in the U.S. at least, we have clearly seen (less traveling, people buying cheaper cars, etc). I've been in London, and the public transportation doesn't seem to be that bad really (at least compared to other major cities like D.C. or New York). You can buy the week long tube passes for any of the zones you want for a reasonable price (which is unlimited travel on both the tubes and buses really), or just get an Oyster card if you aren't going to use them often. Although the lack of cooling during the summer is pretty annoying.

Yes, but if there are few real alternatives, then demand is going to be pretty inelastic, especially as here people are already driving fuel-efficient cars. In the US, public transportation is mostly pretty bad but there is huge room for improvement in better mileage and some room in cycling more.

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01 Jun 2008, 4:12 pm

We have a gas tax in the U.S., and it's the primary source of revenue for funding highway and road maintenance and expansion. Hillary Clinton's proposal for a gas tax holiday really was short sighted; we really need a lasting solution, not a bandage.


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03 Jun 2008, 4:22 am

This fuel tax is truly a wank. It wouldn't be so bad if there was better public transport but once again, it is the taxpayer who is stiffed by such charges.

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