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« A rare outbreak of civility | Main | Shameless, shameless, shameless »

Why the poor should pay higher rate tax

In the crazy world of the environmentalist, the following logic holds:

Oil companies are subject to a supertax on top of corporation tax.

Oil companies operating West of Shetland do not have to pay this supertax.

Therefore oil companies operating West of Shetland are subsidised.

Therefore we should apply the supertax to all oil companies.

One can apply this logic elsewhere:

Rich people pay income tax at 40%.

Poor people pay income tax at 25%.

Therefore poor people are subsidised.

Therefore we should tax poor people at 40%.

I'm not sure our environmentalist friends have thought this through.

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Reader Comments (36)

I happened to turn on Channel 4 news last night and was faced by the unsettling image of Vivian Westwood being interviewed by the lefty berk Jon Snow, asking her views on Britain's energy policy. What this woman, who now appears unable to even dress herself properly even by her previously low standards, has to contribute to this debate is beyond me.

The unabated nonsense that flowed was breath-taking, and without any challenge from Snow despite the string of untruths, including subsidised fossil fuels. Both Channel 4 and the BBC have become the green blob lackeys.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Environmentalists of the Greenblob type never think anything through to its logical conclusion or are even aware of the law of unintended consequences.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

My own take on the interview was that Mr Snow looked deeply embarrassed, as well he might.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

I happened to turn on Channel 4 news last night and was faced by the unsettling image of Vivian Westwood ...
Just stop right there, JohnB. You've said all that needs saying.

Sep 22, 2015 at 3:14 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Well put. That is why Left is not Green.

Obviously. Green taxes are all regressive and subsidise the rich (who can afford a solar panel or a windfarm on their property).
They could be Left and Green.
Subsidised buses would disproportionately benefit those who can't afford cars. And thus provide greater freedom of movement and opportunities for the poor. But they stick with raising electricity bills instead.

As for Westwood, do enjoy once again her recent Guardian interview. Made even sweeter by the comments from her Green Supporters below the line.
It's worth a laugh.

Sep 22, 2015 at 3:19 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The current standard rate of tax is 20 not 25%.

Sep 22, 2015 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

John B (Sep 22, 2015 at 2:48 PM), I'm actually quite pleased when the likes of Dame Vivienne deign to educate the masses: I’m sure the common people very much appreciate her thoughtful words of wisdom.

As I’ve said before, with friends like these who needs enemies :-)

Sep 22, 2015 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Rather than provide subsidies to producers of unreliable power, why not pay money to consumers, and let them choose whether to pay for power, or to pay for power and not get anything in return.

The basic concept of supply and demand economics does require an ability to match supply to demand, rather than never ending demands for subsidies being met with Unreliable supplies. This is probably an alien concept to the Green Blob, who have yet to come up with any solution to any problems, apart from wanting more money and time, for nothing.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC, you've got to hand it to the green blob though, they do keep coming up with new problems.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

M Courtney
Buses powered by shale gas would be a win win solution.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I'm not sure our environmentalist friends have thought this through.
It would be interesting to see an example of something that they have thought through. Rocking horse manure is probably in greater abundance.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:24 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Andrew, I think you may have green logic back-to-front.

Tax could be 100%. Therefore anything left after tax is a gift from the government to the taxpayer.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Don't ever think that the poor are not being taxed at high rates. I don't know the British system at all but here in the US, if you hire someone rather than make them a contractor, there are payroll taxes, workers compensation insurance, health care, unemployment insurance and others. With the exception of payroll taxes, these costs are based on head count and job function, not income. So a person of modest wages often results in expenses and fees that can be between 40 and 80 percent of their wages they take home. There is a perception that if these are all charged to the employer the employee is not paying for them. However in a competitive market, these costs paid to the government to employ people reduce margins that can be made on products produces and suppress wages. In essence, they are taxes paid by moderate wage workers.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

michael hart, the Green Blob still have the problem that they have not fleeced everybody, yet the majority have had enough of being fleeced.

M Courtney, in her interview, Vivienne Westwood displays everything right with the Green Blob, getting rich by selling crap, and then expecting to lecture others. Her supporters below the line, struggle with concepts above the belt. That interview should be compulsory for those doing Environmental Studies, though it might take another 5 years for them to find it funny.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Einstein once said "There are only two infinite quantities; the size of the Universe and Human Stupidity, but I'm not certain about the Universe."!

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

M Courtney

That's right, green politics is regressive based on a hatred of the masses and their consumption. However, they almost universally put on a mask of left wing humanity and caring.

Sep 22, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

I really do struggle to understand how oil companies that pay an additional tax on top of their corporation tax can be said to be being subsidised.
Presumably the subsidy that Ruinable Energy™ gets doesn't count while all the environmental costs that fossil fuels incur (as calculated by the Green Blob) ought to be lumped onto the energy companies as an additional tax.
Only a howling nutjob could make any sense of that argument.

Sep 22, 2015 at 6:39 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Being allowed to keep more of the money you make does not equal a subsidy.

Being given other people's money IS a subsidy.

Anyone with half a brain can tell the difference, which I suspect is the problem here.


Sep 22, 2015 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman


You should add that oil companies pay corporation tax plus other extra taxes, royalties and duties and accelerators , whereas the renewables are still racking up Corp tax losses and not paying any taxes,other than payroll and business rates. VAT is a tax levied on the consumer and collected by the final supplier in the chain, the utility company.

Sep 22, 2015 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

I ain't an expert on North Sea Oil fields.

But what I read and hear is not good news for Aberdeen. North sea oil is pretty much all dried out, most if not all exploration in the North sea has died the death and jobs and marginal fields are lost, being wound down and many drill heads are sealed forever.

Even that prat Osborne could see the writting, that, because of;

i. enormous new fields in the US shale oil plays
ii. World [Saudi] over production added to
iii. a world slump in industrial output and diminishing raw materials consumption.

Ergo, Osborne was forced to provide some tax relief on North sea oil assets. I have to say that, if, the present low price per barrel of oil continues, the only reason North sea oil is still flowing ashore - the fact that all the paraphernalia of production and supply lines are in situ but for how long will the oil companies put up with it?

North sea oil companies have not been subsidised, they just do not surrender as much to the exchequer as they previously did and if the margins close to zero, you know what will happen - when market forces demand and they cannot be denied not even by the fabulously wealthy oil industry.

Though, what happens when belief............................ AND the markets are superceded by government meddling............?

Faerie dust and the green palliatives, those renewable boondoggles, would simply not exist without guaranteed public subsidy and at that, subsidised so far into the future, which is at enormous cost to industry and you and me the poor bloodied consumer.

Tax, everything is about taxes. The energy markets are rigged to favour renewable energy, if the big six energy companies were to be able to choose, if the public money hose was cut off, then, the last type of generation capacity they'd select - would be: wind and PV solar.

Sep 22, 2015 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

You only have to look at the personal wealth Dale Vince has amassed without ever having produced a kilowatt of energy at a sustainable cost to work out who is really getting the subsidies.

Sep 22, 2015 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Of all the silly things that fraud deniers believe, the silliest is that fossil fuel companies oppose the concept of global warming and action to stop it. They believe governments are in conflict with the oil companies over AGW.

International Emissions Trading Association

The biggest lobbying group (486) at the 2009 Copenhagen global climate conference was the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) created to promote cap and trade in 1999.

IETA has about 170 member companies.... It was the largest non-government delegation at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Its members include :-

BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON , EDF, Gazprom , Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley..

Sep 22, 2015 at 9:38 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

BP calls for ratification of Kyoto Protocol

The multinational BP has challenged the Australian Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. BP's South Australia and Australasia president, Greg Bourne, has said that Australia's economy will suffer if the nation doesn't commit to ratifying the protocol which regulates greenhouse gas emissions.

Shell Canada

The debate about climate change is over and we need to take action," says Ertel, Shell Canada's climate change expert.

More than a dozen senior executives representing such companies as Nike Inc., Bechtel Group Inc. and Mitsubishi Motor Corp. have endorsed a newspaper ad running this week that calls for "strong leadership" by the United States on climate change.

Sep 22, 2015 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The fact that Vivian Westwood was chosen as someone worth of being interviewed on this topic shows uup the UK media for what it is. Full of Arts grads basically. The UK has always suffered from a lack of representation of hard science and engineering in public life and nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than the MSM. Add the catastrophic feminisation of society and the neutering of the English male into the mix and that's why you end up with two Queens talking arrant nonsense about something they haven't got the faintest idea about.

Sep 22, 2015 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterkevin king

Please read the replies a bit more carefully: Salopian did not state that the work was idiotic, he said that your claim for it being a verified truth was idiotic, as the “$10m a minute” claim quite clearly is, it being from a working paper which has been published for discussion. It is quite probable that the author gave that figure in order to generate some discussion on the matter, not as an immutable fact.

Quite why wanting to discuss the origins of some assumptions could be considered “full on frothing at the mouth denier mode” is a strange notion; one of the most important facets of science is that it should be in pursuit of the truth, even if it could show that many of your most precious beliefs are shown to be wrong. There are very few on this site who could be considered “deniers”, as few, if any, deny much, though they do question the somewhat remarkable conclusions reached – i.e. that we are all heading for climate catastrophe. In fact, there is one now on this site who projects all indications of being a full-blown “denier” (as in “denier of demonstrable facts”), and one whom you could easily find – just look in a mirror.

Sep 22, 2015 at 10:25 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

kevin king, Westwood should not be taken as representative of women in general.

She's a crazy nutter who thinks that the US Government faked 911 as it's a negligible crime compared to their destroying the planet with "Carbon". And her fans below the line at the Guardian are just a bit thick.
But most women are not crazy or stupid.

Like ZedsDeadBed, Westwood read a little - misunderstood - got taught - but failed to be educated.

It's clear that differential tax rates are not subsidy. It's clear that the IMF has asserted that the UK does not subsidise fossil fuels.
And it's clear that Lord Stern has suggested the opposite, which the IMF then published for discussion. But the discussion has concluded that Lord Stern was wrong and the IMF was right, after all.

If ZedsDeadBed could prove Lord Stern was right then ZedsDeadBed would do so.
Likewise for Lord Stern.

Sep 22, 2015 at 10:44 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The errors identified to the IPCC, investigated by the IPCC, and admitted by the IPCC? Are those the errors identified to you, which you won't read, and can't admit?

If you would like to have another go at it, Google IPCC Errata (that is mistakes and corrections, if you find the Latin confusing) You can choose which report, and working group you want, but it may take a while to read.

But you are not remotely interested in facts or truth are you?

Sep 22, 2015 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

…you will find that the basis for your idiotic claims…” 9:31 PM | Salopian

…you claim that the work on which it is based is 'idiotic'.” 9:42 PM | ZedsDeadBed

You see, Salopian clearly stated that it is your claim that is idiotic; you then claim that he is stating that the work on which you base your “$10m a minute” claim is idiotic. As a form of logic, this is neither straightforward nor… erm… logical.

It is such a shame that you seem incapable of rational thought, and can only issue vitriol and insults. Perhaps you get some kind of thrill from that… who knows? Perhaps you meet up with your mates in the Wharfside, and brag about how you insulted so many people, and there is nothing they can do about it! Woo! Big you!

Sep 22, 2015 at 11:35 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Quite apart from corporations, the consumer gets taxed at the petrol pump. Talk of subsidies for fossil fuels in OECD nations would be shocking news to almost all finance ministers/chancellors.

A few petroleum producing nations subsidise consumption to their, generally very poor, citizens, but these are by nationalised producers, not the 'evil' profit-making tax-paying multinational corporations. This is another reason why tagetting Western fossil fuel consumption will not have the world-wide effect desired by the eco-luddites. That so many greens seem not to know this, is an indictment of state education systems that are among the prime beneficiaries of wealth created by fossil fuels.

Sep 23, 2015 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Alas it's not just bogus fossil fuel subsidy figures. Now the bogus 12,000 early death numbers from Nox emissions are being bandied about by the media thanks to Volkswagen.

Sep 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

As requested many times before, please DNFTT, any ZDB comments and subsequent follow-ups will continue to be removed when spotted.

Sep 23, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I know ZDB is rather a pain but she does represent a certain green mind-set and the rebuttals were rather effective... such a pity to delete them as they could have been useful for enlighten others.

Sep 23, 2015 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Out of curiosity, are the deleted comments saved anywhere?

I quite liked my analogy of a beggar and a banker.

Sep 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

No to saving the troll comments, tried it for a while and it takes up far too much of my time..

Sep 23, 2015 at 3:26 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Fair enough.
It was probably a good comment in my eyes only, anyway.

Sep 23, 2015 at 3:37 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Your Bishness, I usually manage to observe your injunction against the troll.

But it knows that it can have posts left un-moderated for many hours at the weekend. I can also see why others may not be able to bite their tongue for so long. Is there no willing moderator or algorithm to do the task?
I think you you would find many volunteers to that and nothing else.

Sep 23, 2015 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

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