Well, I didn\’t think they would have the courage to do it even though it would be the economically rational thing to do:
Ministers are to perform a U-turn by shelving plans for a national road pricing scheme that would have cost motorists up to £1.30 a mile.
If you\’ve got a scarce resource then you want to charge people for using it. The charge should also be proportional to the usage. Fuel tax is a proxy, but not a very good one, as it doesn\’t account for the time and place of use: which is the congestion part that we really want to tackle.
In one of those little bits of serendipity, the new Oxford Entrance exams have been revealed. The first question is as follows:
Every motorist pays the same amount for road tax, regardless of how much they use the
roads: someone who covers as little as 1 000 miles pays the same as someone who
covers 20 000. This is unfair. Road tax should be scrapped and the money raised by an
increase in the tax on car fuel. Making this change would ensure that those who use the
roads more would pay more. This would not only be a fairer system, but could also bring
in more revenue.
Which of the following best illustrates the principle underlying the argument above?
A People should receive free medical treatment only if they cannot afford to pay
B People who travel to work every day by train should pay a lower fare than
those who travel only occasionally.
C People who earn more than double the average wage should be made to pay
much higher charges for dental treatment.
D Television channels should be paid for by subscription so that only those
people who watch them should be made to pay.
E Telephone charges should be higher for business customers than for
domestic customers because they are using the system only to make money.