Climate Change and the Implementation of Road Pricing

My belief is that the next "pandemic" to be unleashed on the useless eaters/organ donor class will be one that is connected to climate change.  As such, and since I believe that it falls totally within the bounds of reality, we are looking at very significant changes to our lifestyles.  Governments will be looking at all manner of coercion to implement what they believe are the means to an end.  In this posting, we'll look at how governments could handle the climate agenda.

A recent study from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change looks at the impact of automobiles on the environment and how the use of automobiles could be impacted by government policies.  Here is a graph from the study showing how the use of the automobile in Great Britain has increased over the decades as measured by passenger kilometres:

Here is a quote about the issue from the paper:

"We have, like the proverbial frog in ever-heating water, tolerated a gradual increase in cars on our roads. A 40 per cent increase in miles travelled since 1990 has increased traffic across the road network, most dramatically at key intersections and on urban residential streets. But while the downsides of the resulting congestion are clear – reduced productivity, higher costs for drivers, increased time stuck in traffic, more air pollution – this issue has never achieved national political salience."

The report also notes that the British government has the option of increasing the fuel duty which currently sits at 57.95 pence per litre as shown here:

Here is a graph from the RAC Foundation showing how the taxation on fuel (gasoline/petrol and diesel) as a percentage of the pump price has changed over the past decade:

The report also observes the following which is rather ironic given that Tony Blair and his ruling class peers often own multiple vehicles and that they don't really care about societal inequality:

"We’ve also come to accept the inequality that comes with high levels of car ownership and usage. The poorest people in our society are much less likely to own cars but are more exposed to the associated problems, such as air pollution; and for those who do own cars, those with less money spend a significantly higher proportion of their income on using them."

The report states that, to meet the level of electric vehicle (EV) deployment required to meet the government's zero net targets, the number of EVs will rise from its current level of 300,000 to 3 million by 2025, 10 million by 2030 and 25 million by 2035.  This could prove to be problematic for more than one reason, however the authors of the report focus on the loss of government revenue that is generated from the taxing of fossil fuels which currently stands at around £1100 per year including the cost of petrol, fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duties compared to only £320 for electric vehicles with the amount paid in tax being 98 percent lower for EV owners.  As such, the authors note the following three issues:

1.) Congestion will rapidly get worse: economic literature suggests drivers respond to changes in the cost of motoring. With a collapse in the marginal cost of driving we can expect the amount of time we waste in traffic to rise by up to 50 per cent, with huge costs to quality of life and the economy.

2.) Annual fuel duty revenues will plummet: this will require tax rises elsewhere: we are on track to lose over £30 billion in revenue, requiring tax rises equivalent to up to 2p on income tax by the end of the next Parliament and up to 6p by 2040.

3.) Unfairness will rise: Drivers of new EVs pay 71 per cent less than owners of petrol or diesel vehicles to drive their cars, and 98 per cent less in tax. In the next 15 years, drivers of EVs will inevitably be drawn mainly from wealthier income deciles, who drive newer cars – meaning wealthier EV drivers can avoid tax and ordinary motorists will be left picking up the tab. And as things stand, this will exacerbate regional unfairness as well as wealth unfairness – directly conflicting with the government’s purported commitment to “levelling up”. There will be greater inequalities between urban centres and rural areas, and between the south (which has a much higher penetration of EV charging points) and other parts of the country. This might be politically sustainable now, but it won’t be when there are millions of electric vehicles on the road in the coming years.

According to the authors of the report, this, of course, will increase the cost of motoring to society as shown on this graphic:

…and quoted here:

"While approximating the cost of these externalities is challenging, we estimate them at a total of £74.9 billion per year. But motorists pay only £36.4 billion in road tax, fuel duty and VAT. Without action, by 2040 those costs could rise to £144.6 billion per year – but the revenue raised would fall to £8.1 billion even assuming fuel duty were to be uprated with inflation. Were fuel duty to remain frozen, the revenue raised would fall to £5.9 billion in real terms by 2040."

So, what's the solution for the problems being created by the useless eaters who insist on driving according to Tony Blair and his ruling class peers?  According to the report, governments have a "once-in-a-centruy opportunity" to address these problems by introducing road pricing.  The authors state that this scheme could reduce traffic congestion, maintain government tax receipts and mitigate the social unfairness of vehicle ownership.  Here are four potential road pricing solutions:

1.) Flat rate per mile: road users are charged for each mile they drive with the rate being adjusted to reflect each vehicle's fuel consumption and the environmental damage being done.  The flat rate could include a free annual allowance of miles for each driver

2.) Geographic or toll-based charging: costs vary depending on geographic area or specific roads, with cost being focused on areas with higher congestion levels (as in the case of the London Congestion Charge).

3.) Time-based rate: road users are charged for each minute they spend driving.  This could be enforced using a smartphone app or on-board devices.  

4.) Dynamic rate: an “Uberised” model, where charges vary dynamically based on the road being used and time of travel.  Drivers could pick their rout through a smartphone or other device and get a real-time price estimate for the each alternative routing. 

So, there you go.  Isn't it interesting to see that one of the great concerns regarding the link between the use of private electric vehicles and saving the environment is largely due of the massive loss of government revenues as people adopt zero-tailpipe emissions vehicle?  Rather than reducing government expenditures to meet dropping fuel tax revenues, the Tony Blair Institute report finds its solution by raising revenues through the imposition of road pricing which will punish the serf class, particularly those in the lower income brackets, for their use of vehicles.  To anyone with an ability to think beyond the first order, it is very clear that the government-mandated switch to electric vehicles is fraught with issues including the massive growing need for electrical generation to power EVs, the manufacturing and disposal of lithium batteries which have a very significant environmental impact and the fact that most EVs have a lifespan that is relatively short given that the batteries used have a limited shelf life.  Unfortunately, our virtue-signalling politicians seem incapable of seeing the downside of their climate change narratives and, given that there is hardly an original thinker among the bunch, we can pretty much assure ourselves that road pricing will be the revenue model of the future.

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