By Paul Homewood
In an article for the Express this week, Lord Deben, erstwhile John Selwyn Gummer, has been peddling his propaganda again:
We’ve all seen the havoc that the Covid pandemic has caused and we know that climate change, the destruction of nature, and the pollution of our air and water will cause even worse long term damage. There is no vaccine for any of those. So we all want action right across the board. That means things we can do ourselves; things that voluntary organisations, churches, trades unions, and residents can do together; and things that only Government can do – not just in Westminster but in Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast and in regional and local authorities round the U.K.
And we owe Dale Vince a great deal for turning what we feel into so simple a concept.
He saw that if human beings are going to save the natural world and protect the planet which sustains our lives, that aim has got to affect everything we do. That’s why the Government must make it easier and cheaper to do the right thing and harder and more expensive to trash nature or pollute our rivers and oceans.
We can see where that’s already working. Take electric cars. Renewable electricity means driving without the dangerous emissions from an internal combustion engine. That’s why the Government says that after 2030 we shall not be able buy petrol or diesel cars.
That gives us only nine years to get to 100% and last year only 6.6% of new cars were electric. It’s a long way to go. Well, why don’t we copy Norway – the most successful country in making the transition. It has vowed to ensure that all new cars will be electric by 2025 and already, with four years to go, 54% of sales are fully plug in.
The reason is simple – they are cheaper – cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Norway’s car tax is much higher than ours but it doesn’t apply to fully electric vehicles. So, buying them is a no brainer. Couldn’t we do something like that in the U.K.?
It is not easy after Covid to ask for tax cuts,
The latest internal combustion engines are much more efficient but, in Britain, that’s not helped emissions one little bit because too many people now insist on buying bigger and more polluting cars.
Manufacturers and dealers are keen sellers because it means bigger profits so they spend huge sums on advertising their SUVs. It’s a vicious circle. So let’s make it a virtuous one and put the tax up on the gas guzzlers and take it down on the clean electric cars.
Then there’s your home fuel. The Government puts
a higher tax on your electric bill than for gas.
That means that clean electricity is taxed and dirty gas is not. Why not shift the tax? Most people have both gas and electricity so they’d hardly notice but if there’s a choice it would help to encourage them to use clean electricity. It would be a godsend too for the many people in fuel poverty who don’t have gas at all.
They’d stop paying the tax every time they cook a meal or turn on the light.
They are also the very people who are often in most need of better insulation but they still have to pay VAT on green home improvements.
Rishi Sunak found £2billion for green homes grants but not much has been taken up and half of it has had to go back into the Treasury.
It seems that
We could operate the scheme through local small builders so people could more easily afford to get the improvements done professionally and you’d create those post-Covid jobs we so much need.
Lord Deben has voiced his support for the Daily Express’s Green Campaign (Image: NC )
It’s also odd that if you convert an old house, turn it into flats, or build an extension you pay VAT. If you demolish it and build anew it’s free of tax. That’s wasteful and means more emissions. Shouldn’t we change the system to encourage conservation, improvement, and energy efficiency?
Covid has forced us all to buy more by mail. That often means more emissions from delivery to our door, returns, and wastage. Better to shop in the High Street.
Yet we don’t make the Mail Order giants pay the same business taxes that shopkeepers do. What about a delivery tax on non-electric deliveries and a big cut in business rates to make traditional shopping fairer. Most people want to do the right thing. Let’s make it easier and cheaper.
He begins by deliberately conflating “green issues” with”climate change”:
“We’ve all seen the havoc that the Covid pandemic has caused and we know that climate change, the destruction of nature, and the pollution of our air and water will cause even worse long term damage. There is no vaccine for any of those. So we all want action right across the board”
Everybody wants a clean environment, with no litter of plastic pollution, clean rivers, peaceful countryside and son on. But climate change has nothing to do with any of this. Deben hopes that by conflating the two, the public will welcome his hairshirt climate policies.
His first target is electric cars:
“Take electric cars. Renewable electricity means driving without the dangerous emissions from an internal combustion engine.
Well, why don’t we copy Norway – the most successful country in making the transition. It has vowed to ensure that all new cars will be electric by 2025 and already, with four years to go, 54% of sales are fully plug in.
The reason is simple – they are cheaper – cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Norway’s car tax is much higher than ours but it doesn’t apply to fully electric vehicles. So, buying them is a no brainer. Couldn’t we do something like that in the U.K.? “
His first claim that electric cars are cheaper to buy is an outright lie. The Vauxhall Mokka electric version, for instance, costs £11000 more than the petrol model, before government subsidies are taken into account.
He omits to mention that Norway does not have a car industry. There is no way whatsoever that the UK car industry could switch to 100% electric in four years, and his proposed ban on internal combustion would decimate the industry at a cost of tens of thousands of jobs.
As for making car taxes free for EVs, this already happens here. Maybe Deben might like to explain which taxes will go up to replace the £7bn a year raised by Vehicle Excise Duty, when petrol and diesel cars are phased out.
In any event, the electricity to power these cars will still largely come from fossil fuels, making this all rather a zero sum game.
And if drivers refuse to cooperate with Deben’s wishes, why just tax them even more:
“It is not easy after Covid to ask for tax cuts,
The latest internal combustion engines are much more efficient but, in Britain, that’s not helped emissions one little bit because too many people now insist on buying bigger and more polluting cars. “
But again, this is something that already happens – larger, more expensive cars pay considerably more Vehicle Excise Duty, and of course gas guzzlers automatically pay more fuel duty. Meanwhile electric cars incur neither tax.
Is Deben so out of touch that he does not understand any of this, or know that EVs cost much more to buy?
Then he turns his attention to householders who have the impertinence to use “dirty” gas boilers.
“Then there’s your home fuel. The Government puts
a higher tax on your electric bill than for gas.
That means that clean electricity is taxed and dirty gas is not”
What is it about this guy, wanting to tax everybody who won’t do what he says? But once again we find another outright lie. The tax on electricity is not higher than gas; all homeowners pay 5% VAT on both fuels.
What he is referring to is the cost of the obscene subsidies paid to renewable energy generators, currently running at £12bn a year, which is added to everybody’s electricity bills. What he really wants is that the price of gas is lifted so high that it becomes as dear as electricity.
This would mean gas bills will quadruple for most people.
Deben is also keen on dishing out more subsidies for green home improvements, by zeroing VAT. But where will this money come from?
Both the current Green Homes Grant, as well as its predecessor, Ed Davey’s Green Deal, have both flopped for a very simple reason. People have no interest in this green nonsense, and realise that solar panels, heat pumps and expensive insulation are just a waste of money.
Finally he even wants to tax mail order deliveries, putting up the cost of living for ordinary people:
“What about a delivery tax on non-electric deliveries”
All of this is in any case a waste of time, as Britain’s emissions of carbon dioxide are just 1% of the world’s. Our annual emissions are actually less than the increase in Asia’s in 2019.
Let us be very, very clear. The policies proposed by Deben will cost families thousands of pounds a year. He himself has done very well out of the climate scam, and will no doubt regard the odd thousand or so as loose change.
He claims the Daily Express’ Green Campaign has “caught the mood of the nation”. Judging by reader comments, it certainly has not caught the mood of the Express readership!
So what lies behind the Express’s new woke agenda? The answer lies with new editor Gary Jones, the self acknowledged Labour supporting remainer, ex Sunday Mirror editor, appointed when the Mirror Group took over the Express three years ago.
As a result the Express, as seems to be the case across the rest of the media, has deserted its natural customer base.
John Junor must be turning in his grave.
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February 27, 2021 at 11:12AM