Cigarette-style tax and treatment for car owners

Grade automobiles from economy (electric, no frills) to SUV/sports cars and apply strongly progressive tax regimes — so any private vehicle bears a 50% tax, those costing over £30,000 attracts 100% tax, over £50,000 attracts 200% tax, etc. Tax on-road public parking steeply: £10,000/yr for a license to park on roads. Add a surcharge to council tax for any property with a garage or driveway.

Connect the tax revenue directly to repairing the damage caused by automobiles: health funding for victims of RTAs and lung disease; narrowing roads and reducing their impact on neighbourhoods and wildlife; providing safe and accessibile public transport for elderly or disabled people. Treat people who insist on using cars through addiction programmes. Make films that celebrate families who crush their cars and recycle them.

Why the contribution is important

Car ownership as such will have to be phased out over time, but at present we have an economy and transport system that often requires families to have cars in order to access jobs, food and so forth. We can, however, do something to change the positive image associated with car ownership and begin to wean Scottish society off its addiction to a violent, greedy and destructive form of transport—in the same way that we treat cigarette addiction. By using targeted taxes and a powerful public health campaign, we can change the way car ownership is perceived from a status item, to a sign of dependency and antisocial behaviour.

by wbtd on October 23, 2020 at 07:42PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.0
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by dukespencer October 24, 2020 at 16:45

    What rubbish - cars are essential in many parts of Scotland for basic transport. Apart from that, some people are car enthusiasts including myself. Much of the tourism industry is based on visiting tourists coming by car and touring our fantastic roads by car. Our roads are in dire need of maintenance and much money needs to be spent on this. Emissions from vehicles is being reduced to negligible levels now so I cannot see the argument here. I really don't think this post is serious.
  • Posted by Pixie October 25, 2020 at 21:23

    I think the post above highlights many of the issues around transport, and how dependent our society is on the car. However, that is not to say that nothing should be done about this, and increasing the cost of driving would make people think more about how much they drive.

    Emissions from cars are still significant, and transport is the main source of carbon emissions in Scotland, most of which comes from cars. Measures to make driving more expensive and less appealing can be introduced alongside improvements to sustainable transport to help address this.
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