Saturday, March 24, 2007

Verifiably idiotic

Other have pointed out the Finance Department's ludicrous decision to include inefficient vehicles in the Cons' car tax credit for political purposes. But that change alone is the least of the problems with the Cons' car tax incentive plan, as the scheme looks to be a spectacular failure as an investment in emission reductions:
Dennis Desrosiers of Desrosiers Automotive Consultants says the Vehicle Efficiency Initiative announced this week in the federal budget may be the most expensive program yet in terms of dollar per tonne of reductions of greenhouse gases:...

At $5,600 per tonne this policy has the dubious distinction of being even more expensive per tonne of GHG reduction than the previous record holder - the Conservatives' transit pass tax credit ($2,000 per tonne, because about 97% of the subsidy recipients were already daily transit riders). (In fact it’s the) most expensive environment program anywhere in the world by a wide margin.
To see just how far off base the Cons' plan is, compare the cost of any reductions through the car price incentives to the $15 per tonne of reductions established the price under the previous Lib government - or the $25-35 per tonne suggested by the TD Bank as the appropriate level to influence industrial behaviour. Or, judging from the article, to absolutely any other emission-reduction plan put in place by any other government on the face of the planet.

But the Cons apparently aren't the least bit interested in reducing emissions efficiently, or even in allowing Canadian firms to engage in international carbon trading at anything resembling a reasonable price. Instead, they're merely using the environment as an excuse to throw money at target voters - highlighting once again their disregard both for environmental progress and effective government (measured in anything other than votes received).

At this rate, next year's budget figures to include an "environmental plan" consisting of dumping money on street corners on the theory that whoever finds it might use it to reduce emissions. And the scary part is that if half a percent of the money distributed that way were in fact put into efficient emission-reducing investments, that strategy would work better than what the Cons are doing now.

I'll stop now before I give Flaherty too many ideas. But it should be clear that Canada can't afford the Cons' affinity for wasteful spending much longer - either in terms of finances, or for the good of our environment.

Update: More from Robert:
No wonder conservatives believe that implementing a plan to combat climate change will destroy our economy. If PMS is left in charge of it, it will.

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