Horror UK Covid-19 Tax Rises Considered, while the UK Squanders Billions on Renewable Energy

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The British Government is reportedly considering tax rises of £30 billion+ to plug the hole in the government budget created by the Covid-19 lockdown.

My question – instead of punishing ordinary people by raising £30 billion of new taxes, why doesn’t the British Government plug their budget shortfall by cutting £30 billion of useless expenditure, by cancelling all subsidies for renewable energy, the foreign aid guarantee, and other assorted big government boondoggles?

Tax rises will be needed to deal with economic fallout from pandemic, government told

Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have to delay revenue-raising increases for two years to avoid stifling recovery

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
2 days ago

“Hefty” tax rises will be needed to deal with the economic aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, but chancellor Rishi Sunak will have to delay as long as two years to introduce them to avoid choking off recovery, a respected thinktank has said.

And the director of the Institute for Fiscal StudiesPaul Johnson, said that Mr Sunak will have to hike rates of the most high-profile taxes, like income tax, national insurance and VAT, in order to raise the “really serious amounts of money” needed to fill the black hole in state finances.

Rises in levies paid by all would be politically perilous, as their impact would be felt in voters’ pockets just as Boris Johnson is preparing for the general election scheduled for 2024.

Reports that the chancellor is considering a £30bn tax raid in November’s Budget have sparked alarm among business leaders and MPs, with the British Chambers of Commerce warning that premature rises in corporation tax or capital gains levies could “hamstring” the recovery.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-pandemic-economy-tax-rises-national-insurance-vat-a9696751.html

How much money would eliminating green subsidies save? According to the British government’s own figures, green subsidies and government imposed market distortions sucked £9.6 billion out of the British economy in 2019 – a future set to rise by around half a billion pounds per year until 2024.

h/t GWPF – consumer cost of environmental levies Economic and fiscal outlook – March 2019, Office for Budget Responsibility

Lets call that £10 billion – if the energy market was liberated from the green octopus, £10 billion would be put back into the pockets of ordinary people. Even if every penny of that money was clawed back as taxes, the government could raise £10 billion without adding to the tax burden of ordinary Britons.

What else can we cancel? The next obvious target is the International Development Bill, which guarantees recipients of foreign aid will receive at least 0.7% of Britain’s annual GDP. Given the British GDP was £2.2 trillion in 2019, this is serious money – around £15 billion. Cancelling all foreign aid, repealing the International Development Bill, would free an additional £15 billion for the UK government to spend on Covid-19.

£25 billion – just £5 billion short of our £30 billion target.

What other low hanging fruit can we pluck? You guessed it – the BBC.

The BBC license fee cost ordinary Britons £3.7 billion in 2019. By eliminating mandatory public funding for the BBC, ordinary Britons would be financially better off by £3.7 billion. Even if every penny of that £3.7 billion was clawed back as taxes, by cancelling the BBC license fee the British government could raise an additional £3.7 billion annual revenue without hurting ordinary taxpayers.

£28.7 billion raised towards the £30 billion target, without negatively impacting the tax burden of ordinary Britons.

I leave it to readers to find the final £1.3 billion. Given wasteful government projects like High Speed Rail HS2 or the insanely expensive Hinkley Point nuclear deal, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a few extra billion to shave off wasteful government expenditure, to achieve my goal of finding cost savings which would allow the British government to plug the £30 billion Covid-19 expenditure hole in their budget, without imposing new pain on ordinary taxpayers.

76 thoughts on “Horror UK Covid-19 Tax Rises Considered, while the UK Squanders Billions on Renewable Energy

  1. Cancelling HS2 should save at least £100bn in the long run. Even if it is built, there won’t be many passengers. Just those on expense accounts. Judging by the HS rail on the continent, maintenance costs are too high for it to run a full speed anyway. It was said that it would be green. I was under the impression that, the faster you went, the more energy it took. Obviously not settled science if it is different for HS2.

    • @Greytide

      I was under the impression that, the faster you went, the more energy it took.

      You are correct. All else being equal, the energy required to move an object through a viscous medium goes up with the square of the velocity. Going from 40 km/hr to 80 km/hr requires constantly expending 4X the energy, not 2X.

      • It is worse for ships. I recall writing a paper back in 1980 on the subject. In the case of ships, for a fixed displacement, the fuel consumption is proportional to the cube of the speed of the ship.

        • If one wishes to move hundreds of tons of cargo, a ship is the way to go. The figure that matters is the fuel expanded per ton.

          • Partly right Donald. This is why going at other than an optimum speed for the overall costs is a mistake. Actually my 1980 paper shows that the total costs are minimum when a ship is operated at such a speed that the fuel costs are equal to half of the combined total of the capital charges and operating costs. The latter which is probably no intuitive comes from differential calculus applied to a formula I derived for the total costs for a voyage with sea time t.

      • True but, as I am sure you know, doubling the speed only expends the 4x energy for half the time. Hence overall energy expenditure for the journey goes up by 2x.

        I agree that HS2 is looking more and more like a white elephant, especially London to Birmingham. I do think we need to do a lot more for rail connectivity across the north of England – I don’t know if HS2 is the optimum solution here.

      • It should be speed^3. Drag force goes up as speedy^2, but power required to move is force * speed, thus speed^3.

    • You can’t really ‘cancel’ it: they are actually constructing it. Only today I got held up by a massive lorry delivering stuff to one of its construction sites. They’ve cleared acres of ground and started serious demolition and earth moving.

      If you stopped it where it is, you are looking at a very considerable sum filling in the holes (which every day get bigger).

        • I doubt landfill will become an option for the UK very quickly despite there being plenty of sites available. I believe that the EU ban on landfill was introduced in part due to pressure from countries, in particular Holland and Benelux, who had little spare to fill. With environmental pressure from green groups it was an easy job to complete.

      • Everybody knows that for every $1.00 spent on Green infrastructure we reap $2.24 in benefit. Right.

        So, taxing the green infrastructure, at its inception, at a rate of 100% will still yield a benefit of 24%.

        All you guys over there need to do is create more Green projects (30 billion worth), tax them at 100% to get the 30 Billion you need, and you will still get a 24% return in the end. This way you don’t need to tax the ordinary people, AND you still have a net benefit to your economy.

        Its that simple. Get the word out Griff.

        • Better still, line them with concrete and reserve them for wind turbine blades. Could be a nice little earner in years to come. A public sector project making a profit !

          • Put the politicians in first, then put the wind turbine blades on top of them so that they can’t crawl out.

      • So a new landfill rubbish tip … they could pile the radical lefties up in it …. oooops did I type what I was thinking 🙂

    • HS2 was part of the EU railway network so the commissars could get to their dachas in Scotland in a couple of hours. With Brexit, it should have been cancelled long ago, but once a government starts a huge project like that, they rapidly build up a group reliant on the tax money for income who will shriek and scream if that tax money is cut off.

    • “I was under the impression that, the faster you went, the more energy it took.”

      An over-simplification, I think. The faster I drive on roads good enough to allow it, the better fuel economy I get!

      • Cars are geared to provide optimum gas mileage at a certain speed. My vehicles fuel economy definitely drops when i drive faster, but then i get where i’m going faster and for me my time is more valuable than fuel.
        So i am willing to pay more to save my time

        • little more in depth than that. each engine has a “sweet spot” where its horsepower and torque bands intersect that the engine is most efficient at.
          on my mercury marquis (same thing as ford crown vic) with the 4.6L v8 that rpm is approx 2100-2200 rpm.
          with 2.73:1 rear end at 2200 rpm I am doing 88-90 mph in over drive with torque converter locked up.
          and since its right at that “sweet spot” hills (we are extremely undulating here in Maine) don’t really phase it.
          back it down to 55mph (approx 1200-1300 rpm, OD with TCC locked) and there is a lot of throttle movement to maintain speed on hills.

          on the open road I get my best fuel mileage at 92 mph (24.6 mpg) on interstate 95. at 55-70 I get 18.5-19.6 mpg on SAME stretches of road.

        • Your thought here, Pat, is fundamental to Business Process Analysis and Management. Knee jerk reaction politicians frequently meddle in processes that they do not understand and as a result damage the process. There are lots of examples of such political meddling in NHS, Education etc. Often “saving money” results in excess spending of money. Here is an example: Aggregate is moved to a building site a day late. The reason was that someone found that the load could be moved at half the cost than if it had been moved the previous day. This decision resulted in the workers not being able to mix concrete and so could not get on with the job. The job itself has a completion date that if missed has a monetary penalty. So the decision also risked falling foul of the latter.

      • Your car engine has some speed it runs most efficiently at, running at the highest gear at that speed may well be your most efficient speed for engine losses. But air drag increases rapidly with speed. For that, slower should usually be more efficient.

        But in urban congestion, it’s worth noting that there is nothing LESS efficient than sitting stuck in traffic with the engine running, and slow stop and go traffic also burns fuel like crazy. So in actual usage your mileage may vary.

  2. The article quoted by Eric is from the Independent, yet another hysterically leftist, signed up member of the MSM.

    Of course they want Tax rises, when the left only have a hammer…….. And they’ll do everything to make the case for them.

    Even without Covid, it would of course make complete sense to cancel all these expensive, virtue signalling, rent seeking, environmental charges.

    Slightly O/T, I gritted my teeth today and listened to that awful female leader of XR this afternoon on the BBC’s Jeremy Vine show (yea, the one that flew several thousand miles to an expensive secluded island to swallow Acid and contemplate the worlds fate) bleating about the end of the world, and it’s relationship to (surprise, surprise) the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Then a Gardener was wheeled on spouting more emotional claptrap (it’s for the children).

    Not a single fact from either of them, just emotional nonsense.

    But then it is the touchy, feely, left wing BBC.

    • The left are convinced that government can spend your money better than you can.
      So to the left, the perfect world can only be obtained once government runs everything and owns everything.

    • the left only have a hammer…

      Not so, they also have a sickle ☭

      But obviously not used to cut government waste.

  3. The agricultural policy coming in next year, will pay farmers to not farm , instead dont pay them not to farm,encourage them to farm,and help create the markets for farmers produce, which means a bigger tax take on farming profits, bigger profits on the agri machine sales sees more of a tax tax, so a increase in revenue for every one concerned ,the only cost will be a change in policy. Oh yes and stop giving Grant’s to foreign companies to plant trees, who after two years ,if they sell the land and or product pay no tax at all.

  4. My question – instead of punishing ordinary people by raising £30 billion of new taxes, why doesn’t the British Government plug their budget shortfall by cutting £30 billion of useless expenditure, by cancelling all subsidies for renewable energy, the foreign aid guarantee, and other assorted big government boondoggles?

    Simple: Because it would take intelligence, logic, and common sense, none of which have ever been found in any quantity in any government anywhere.

  5. Great suggestions, Eric……..and those subsidies & “foreign aid” Budget would certainly have been on my list too, especially when you consider that India, a country with its own space agency these days, is one of the many beneficiaries of that foreign aid!

  6. Excellent question.
    To start with, maybe an MP could ask the PM what evidence is there that CO2 drives the temperature of the Earth, as happened in Aus recently.

  7. How much will HS2 cost? The official price tag for HS2 was set out in the 2015 Budget and came in at just under £56bn. However, the government estimate for the project has since almost doubled, with the latest figure rising to £106bn, according to an official review leaked to the Financial Times in January.

    Just cancel this and tax the wealthy (amazon, execs in general, bankers)

    • Ah yes, the classic socialist line. Just take money from people who have more than I do, because I want more free stuff.

    • Its nice we agree about cancelling HS2 Ghalfrunt.

      I’m not sure smacking rich people with massive new taxes then asking them to help rebuild Britain by investing in the British economy, so they can pay even more tax, will achieve the desired outcome.

      • It never has in the past. But then the same people who always demand higher taxes also think socialism works.

  8. The UK govt isn’t going to touch renewables etc. They are committed to net zero.

    And the UK is getting increasing amounts of renewable electricity, with no issues and with offshore wind and solar projects now coming in subsidy free. Whereas Hinkley adds 10 quid a year to every electricity bill for decades.

    • Well not really. On top of the spot market price they have a contract for difference payment . They get this latter even when the grid is over-supplied. We don’t really have baseload anymore, just overload and under load.

    • Griff, what do you think or hope will be the net effect on the climate once net zero is attained?

    • They certainly should be committed. To the loony bin. And you really should cut back on the Klimate and Renoobles Koolade. Your grasp on reality is slim indeed.

    • Whereas Hinkley adds 10 quid a year to every electricity bill for decades.

      I’d gladly pay an extra £10 a year for reliable energy, something wind or solar can never guarantee.

    • Hey I am supporting Griff, the UK are set to single handed save the world. You have a democracy and you voted so it’s fair enough. I do feel sorry for those hit with the results but you can always fix it next election.

    • Griff, I was enjoying a pint or two whilst looking at the £480 Million, 50 turbine, 172Mw Gunfleet Sands 1 & 2 wind farm on Monday.
      Not one blade was turning, so where were we getting the energy that that site puts into the grid ? Nuclear? Gas? Coal? Solar? Biomass (now there’s a misnomer if ever there was one)?

      I mean, it’s not like they’d turned it off because it wasn’t required was it?

  9. Anyone who proposes tax rises before the recovery is throughly bedded in well and truly off their fiscal trolley. Tax rises should be put on hold until the unemployment rate is at the level, or below, it was before the lock down started. If they are worried about the deficit they should start by incroducing Whitehall civil servants to the concept of redundancy and unemployment. There are 400,000 Whitehall civil servants. This is 200,000 more than there should be. A good place to start would be the Treasury. Other places to look for cuts are the Foreign Aid budget, the cost of HS2, its too damn slow, the cost of running the retired politician’s rest home, the House of Lords

    • “Tax rises should be put on hold until the unemployment rate is at the level”

      We have to wait until the economy recovers before we destroy it again.

  10. What Lord Deben – CCC – has never explained is how you run a train at 200mph on an interruptible supply of green wind or solar generated electricity? America has just exited 18 months of windless days, UK 2017 7 months of windless days, this year 2 months. There is no battery that can hold charge for 7 months of 35 to 40GW’s of demand but there there was it would cost in excess of £32 trillion. The UK is buckling under £2 trillion of debt increased because of Covid 19. Denise Garcia UN advisor said defence budgets should be spent on climate change but like Mike Hudema Denise did not check the arithmetic first total defence budget $1.5 trillion AOC Green New Deal $100 trillion. Zero Co2 for the UK £6 trillion plus. Lord Deben has not denied an all electric UK might have a peak winter load of 150GW’s.

    I would dearly love to see the dartboard these idiots use to identify plots and sub plots as to how transition is possible before someone identifies the cost of their Alice in Wonderland fantasy’s.

    My new electricity contract with British Gas has risen by 10% there can only be one reason and that is subsidy for wind and solar. Being green is about the journey not the destination to keep at least 6,000 pseudo scientist rent seekers employed in the UK to mither over countless zillions of studies every one of which is based upon the Co2 hypothesis not reality logic reason engineering physics or available land. http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell Catherine has been across the planet preaching about green ethical energy never once caring or bothering to identify what exactly she was talking about other than policy, which is easy.

  11. We could get four times the supposed tax raising amount by cancelling HS2 scheduled to cost 120 billion. This is a new train line between London and Birmingham designed to increase capacity and save a whole 20 minutes off the journey time.

    Now some might ask will capacity be needed bearing in mind the current dramatic drop in journeys. ? Is it worth shaving 20 minutes off the time, especially as many people treat trains as their office and work. Last but not least is this saving in time not illusory as the number of people actually wanting to travel from city centre to city centre is small, their journeys start and end point are probably nowhere near the start or the end.

    tonyb

  12. I would be delighted if Covid only needed tax rises of £30 billion.. It will be many times that, as it will be for many large economies. I don’t know how the US will pay the costs?

    tonyb

  13. The UK should grab the headlines over imposing new taxes while it can.

    If the Democratic Party in the US wins the Presidential election in November and holds on to the House of Representatives, all US citizens above poverty level can expect massive new taxation. Current hints are they are talking about an additional $3-4 TRILLION USD in just CY2021 (that would approximately double the income side of the Federal budget for FY2020), but of course this means that it will most likely end up actually being $6-8 TRILLION USD in new taxes.

    The impact of COVID-19 in the US has been a massive increase in government support/assistance/hand out spending while at the same time Federal personal and income tax revenue has plummeted due to associated “lockdowns”. And, with few exceptions, the States are looking to the Federal government for “bail out” assistance. At the same time, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have swallowed hook-line-and-sinker the Green New Deal plans to “transform” the US, damn the cost.

    Talk about the proverbial double whammy and squandering money!

    With the present US Federal debt at $26.7 TRILLION USD and an associated Federal debt-to-GDP ratio of 137%, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to understand the world will be reluctant to lend even more money to the US . . . this may precipitate the whole house of cards “come tumbling down.”

    • Biden has proposed changes to how your contributions to your 401ks are going to be taxed, which will mean a tax increase for everyone who makes more than $80K per year.

      As it stands now, contributions to 401Ks are not taxed now, but rather when they are withdrawn after you retire. The problem with this according to the left is that since the rich pay at a higher tax rate, this means they get a bigger deduction now and this just isn’t fair.

      Biden’s proposal is that all deductions to 401Ks will get a 26% tax credit, regardless of your income level.
      Being a tax credit, if you end up not paying anything in taxes, you still get money back.

  14. Thankfully I don’t have to wear a mask. Downloaded my exemption card from the Gov website and Tescoes gave me my lanyard from behind the counter.

    “NY Times: Nine Out Of Ten COVID19 Tests Are Wrong”

    “this week the CDC quietly updated the Covid number to admit that only 6% of all the 153,504 deaths recorded actually died from Covid. 9,210 deaths . The other 94% had 2 to 3 other serious illnesses and the overwhelming majority were of very advanced age; 90% in nursing homes”

  15. It would have been nice to have been asked, instead of told,
    “WE are going to spend all this money and YOU will pick up the bill later”
    In this modern techno age where Speed Cameras read your number plate, check your insurance etc etc details before it decides to flash you, or not, as told cruise gently past at 69.99 mph

    If they can do that, why have mini referendums on such matters
    That’s all. Just explain, then ask.

    This *is supposed* to be a Democracy after all…..

  16. Renewable energy is a valuable asset. However, non-renewable, low-density, fractional wind turbine and photovoltaic conversion pose a hazard for the environment, for people, for industry, and for society. Still, the clean, renewable greenbacks are good, even if they are socially justified on a shifty premise.

  17. The long and short of it is we are royally screwed, the most expensive test of public obedience on record.

    Will people sit by and watch their jobs disappear? Yes, they will. At least so far they have. Lockdowns do nothing other than disrupt society and economy. And now they’re talking 2 years when the global death rate is ~0.02%. In the UK it’s ~0.06% That’s right, over 99% of people, er, fail to die.

    And worse is to come…

    Channelling American Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Labour Party MP for Nottingham East said on Tuesday that allegedly man-made climate change is an “existential threat to all of us”.

    In a Breitbart London exclusive video, Nadia Whittome said of climate change: “This is not a crisis of tweaking around the edges, or a question of people shopping a bit less, or even going vegan, and I say that as a vegan.”

    “This is a crisis of capitalism,” the avowed socialist proclaimed

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/09/02/britains-aoc-labour-mp-calls-green-new-deal-uk/

    Please keep the loony ideas in the US!

  18. Maybe stop importing wood chips from clear cut forests on other continents. Then double the taxes on HS rail for the rich. Undercut the EU on currency and copy Ireland on corporate tax rates. Just don’t copy the Swiss on bank secrecy for the global dictatorships. Then do some math on the nuclear plant costs this time.

  19. “”My question – instead of punishing ordinary people by raising £30 billion of new taxes, why doesn’t the British Government plug their budget shortfall by cutting £30 billion of useless expenditure, by cancelling all subsidies for renewable energy, the foreign aid guarantee, and other assorted big government boondoggles?””

    Eric Worrall:

    To one degree or another, I have answered your question numerous times here at WUWT. It involves the lack of intestinal fortitude and willpower on the part of Western leaders to stand up to the Big Green Monster, especially regarding CAGW and wind & solar energy.

    I do not know if Boris Johnson, Trump and the PMs of Canada and Australia are even aware of the science that can blow the CAGW narrative out of the water. If in fact they are, they have clearly shown the lack of leadership and courage to stand up to the climate scare and push back against it. The failure to do this only provides encouragement to the alarmists and confirmation to other politicians, the mass media, and the general public that the CAGW narrative is presumably scientifically sound and should be acted on. It is now quite deeply embedded in the national mindset of the Western nations which makes fighting it all the harder. It sends the message to Griff, Izaak Walton, Loydo and their ilk that they are in fact right.

    It is the same with wind and solar energy. My impression is that the physics, engineering and economics that shoot them down as alternatives to fossil fuels is still largely unknown in the political arena, the mass media and the general public. The effort to shoot them down has to come from the top, and it isn’t. Ditto for that train you were arguing against if in fact it won’t be used much.

    Eric, the trio of brains, leadership and courage are not always easy to come by when talking about politicians. That trio is what I definitely see a lack of in today’s politicians, and the nations they lead pay a dear price for it. I readily admit that Trump has done well on the economic front in the U.S. prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, but political expediency still seems to have an overall much higher priority these days.

    • The UK govt has the evidence that the UK grid can run on high levels of renewable energy and that wind power delivers UK electricity. It can also see that the planned 17GW of new nuclear is impossible to finance and expensive to deliver.

      It is too late for UK coal power plants… the last 4 have end dates before 2024 and are now hardly used in summer months. They provided just 2% of UK electricity in 2019.

      UK offshore wind now stands at over 8GW of installed capacity with twice as much building or approved for construction… the aim of 30% of UK electricity from just offshore wind by 2030 looks credible.

      In addition there are dozens of renewable power projects across the UK – compressed air batteries, flywheel batteries, grid scale batteries, renewable hydrogen, hydrogen trains, injecting hydrogen to the gas grid, demand management, new HVDC lines, tidal turbines, new pumped storage…

      Renewables are a working going concern, not theory, for the UK govt. They can see it works, there are no problems showing at present… why stop?

      • Griffy-poo:

        Your ignorance of the physics, engineering and economics of wind and solar energy is truly profound.

        California has been seeing the consequences of transitioning to wind and solar this year, and it will only get worse as they shut down their Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in 2024 and other fossil fuel plants in they years ahead. They have already shut down San Onofre nuclear plant.

        Griffy, what do you think happens when the sun goes down every evening in California? If I understand the table in the website linked below, it has the answer; They lose about 14.5% of their electricity generation capacity. Does that sound like a reliable, dispatchable energy source to you? And they plan on installing more solar in the years ahead as they shut down their traditional power plants. It is much the same with wind. Non-dispatchable because the wind is not always available when electricity is demanded from the grid. And wind and solar are not dispatchable when the system’s batteries are dead.

        https://tinyurl.com/yxptgfz9

        And the poor energy density of wind and solar add to their problems. As a result, wind and solar require much more surface area (among other things) than traditional power plants. And does a solar panel or wind turbine last as long as a traditional power plant? I doubt it.

        Griffy-poo, do yourself a favor and try to learn and understand the definition of “dispatchable” when it comes to electricity generation. And while you are at it, study up on the significant differences in energy density between nuclear and fossil fuels on one hand and wind and solar on the other.

        Hydrogen Griff? Look up the Hindenburg disaster here in the U.S. in 1937. Then tell me you would be willing to ride a hydrogen-powered train.

        I could go on and on Griffy-poo, but I think you get the idea. You are more or less giving me a ecol-religious argument here because you defend these ideas as if they have no scientific and engineering problems to concern ourselves with. That is more or less like being in a cult. The U.K. and Europe cannot run their economies on religious faith.

        I might not live to see it, but the day may come when the U.K. and the rest of Europe start to realize they made a big mistake trying to transition away from nuclear (in Germany) and fossil fuels when the alternatives are far from being commercially viable and proven replacements. The lies you tell now Griff won’t prevent that day from coming. The massive waste of money and resources that was involved should be nothing short of a major scandal.

    • Nope they are going for a tax on bedroom activities next based on the fact it elevates your breathing rate exhaling more CO2. They are just trying to refine a tamper proof crotch governor design.

    • A tax on fog would create a fiscal incentive for the fog to relocate to tax havens in Denmark, Holland and France. This would create a new-normal of excessive sunny days in the UK, which would be proof that the GCMs were right all along.
      Annoyed at being left in the gloom, the Danes, Dutch and French could retaliate with a tax on rainfall. This would create a fiscal incentive for rainfall to “offshore” to the UK. The increase in UK rainfall and increased incidence of flooding would be proof that the GCMs were right all along.

  20. The last Tory party manifesto promised to keep the green subsidies rolling. It is also Tory party policy to close the last remaining coal fired power stations.

    The sad fact of the matter is that most UK voters express support renewable energy, believing it is cheap and “the right thing to do”. No political party will challenge this, their optimum strategy is to align with it to harvest more votes.

    There could be some “belt tightening” by reducing subsidies, although still with the fanfare that the Tories are doing their part for planetary salvation. If it happens, expect much wailing from the power industry, who will invest very little these days without some kind of public support. (You can hardly blame the power industry because they have been through decades of Government dictat on what they can invest in.)

    To do anything about subsidies would be too much of an admission of fault for the Tories. The Tory party has painted itself into a corner, and there is nowhere in the UK electoral landscape to turn to.

  21. What an economy that has contracted by 23.9% (in just the last quarter) really, really needs is great big new taxes to further suppress the economy….

  22. From the early days of the lockdown, I felt this might be an opportunity to trim as much government waste as possible. For example, I doubt few people would notice if 25%-30% of the public service were eliminated. Also, cut the government travel budget by at least 80%. Slash the health care bureaucracy and eliminate those 6-figure salaries provided to people with medical degrees who do nothing but administrative work.

    Alas, I think the exact opposite will occur.

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