Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Green Taxes- So What?

I don't really get the purpose of the Taxpayers Alliance and their new 'Green Tax' calculator. If one accepts that taxes have to be raised in some manner then surely taxing something which creates negative externalities is a good thing. Obviously I'd prefer it if government spending were much lower but I don't really see why Green taxes are any worse than income tax, National Insurance, Stamp Duty or VAT.

They have been used in part to raise taxes by stealth- so the government doesn't have to raise income tax- but the problem there is surely ever rising taxes not the form they take.

Update: Just to clarify, when I say "I don't really get the purpose of the Taxpayers Alliance and their new 'Green Tax' calculator" I didn't intend to say that I didn't get the purpose of the TPA, I was just referring to the Green Tax Calculator.


Blognor Regis said...

I think I'm right in saying that the US's founding documents stipulated that the federal government could only raise revenue through duties. It was only when they implemented the federal income tax - and they were no longer reliant on drinks imports and sales for funds - that the USA was able to bring in prohibition, because they could afford it at last.

Ross said...

I didn't know that.

One other factor behind the introduction of prohibition might have been universal suffrage (the temperance movement was always more popular among women than men).

Blognor Regis said...

Here's the source.