Tuesday, November 18, 2008
WOULD YOU LIKE THE GOVERNMENT TO SPEND £30 BILLION ON YOU?
About 2/3rds of the way through Gary said that there was a shortage of people phoning in saying we shouldn't spend this money so I did.
I mentioned that rail already gets 70% of the transport budget with 3% of travel & that not one of those who had said they would like the government to pay for their train use had said what extra taxes they personally were willing to pay. Gary asked me what transport I would like to spend more on considering that we can't build more roads. I said we can build more roads.
In this particular case I agree with the implicit BBC assumption that government should be spending money on something since transport infrastructure is one of the very few state expenditures which seem to provide more economic benefit than they cost. It is obvious that if the BBC do a programme asking people to ring in to say that they want government to give them more money then they will get more people saying yes. Equally if they ever did a programme asking people if they want less taxes, though they never do that, they would get an even larger majority saying yes. All parties seem to be currently engaged in an auction of promises to do both.
Exactly. And if we could fund this with Land Value Tax, so much the better - the people who benefit most would pay most towards it, and still have a net, risk free profit (if the infrastructure doesn't add value, then there'd be no extra LVT!)
Land Value Tax, as applied to airports, is of course charging fees/taxes for every aircraft movement.
Can we have your source for these stats please?
which used Scotish Office statistics of the total number of rail journeys being 65.3 million
& of the total number of road vehicle kilometres being 43.2 billion
I believe I made the 3% estimate from assuming the average train journey of about 30 km & an average of 1.5 people per vehicle. That is a back of the envelope calculation but I would be surprised if the final figure is much over 4% or under 2%.
It would seem that 'public transport' in the context of this report (which 70% of the budget is
devoted to) includes buses, canals, the maritime and air networks and the Scottish trunk roads.