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Was Dump the pump a flop? - BikeBiz

Was Dump the pump a flop?

Asks FT.com, seeking answers on their bulletin board. The answers are illuminating...
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Dont read through this if you havent got five minutes to spare because its a bit off topic but many of the comments show how difficult it will be to prise people away from their cars.

So, was Dump the pump a flop? People still filled up but the subject got tons of airtime so from an oxygen of publicity point of view it was a roaring success. Transport campaigners look likely to hijack the campaign: dont dump the petrol pump on a Monday only to fill up on the Sunday, try not to use the car for one whole day a week! Walk/bike/bus it instead.

The longer the Dump the pump campaign goes on we all want cheaper petrol so it may take a while to fizzle out the better the chances of getting the environmental message across in its stead.

PS

The best bit of the text below is this tongue-in-cheek comment from a cynic.

I'd like to see something done about bureaucracy. I spend all day up to my neck in red tape. But then again, I'm a ribbon manufacturer!


Is dump-the-pump a waste of time?

On August 1, and then on every subsequent Monday, motorists are being urged to boycott British service stations in protest at the high cost of petrol. But with the latest surge in prices more to do with OPEC and global oil costs than Gordon Brown and fuel duties, have they got hold of the wrong end of the pump? And why should the government spend its time stabilising the price of one good in the economy, possibly at the expense of raising taxes elsewhere?

Hosted by Alan Beattie in London

United Kingdom news [all categories]

Is dump-the-pump a waste of time?

Is dump-the-pump a waste of time? (Page 1)

39 replies in 3 pages: 1 2 3 All times are GMT Author Topic: Is dump-the-pump a waste of time?

E. J. Ball

guest posted 02 August 2000 07:34 PM

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quote:

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Originally posted by Eric Blair:

What nonsense. Nothing wrong with buses, they are a very pleasant way to travel. And since I spent many hours standing in the rain waiting for buses while the Tories were in power, I'm not sure what difference it makes what government is in.

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I can only assume by this statement that you are a masochist from the planet Zog, where the public transport is somewhat better than in Britain!


O'Mandy

guest posted 02 August 2000 06:11 PM

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quote:

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Originally posted by henry:

On an open vote, most British people would vote for corporal punishment for violent crime, for example. That would save billions on the labyrinthine criminal justice system -

we could all drive around at £2 a gallon like most people in the world, and not have our cars scratched every few weeks by mindless idiots.

democracy must get going if our quality of life is to be saved from bureaucracy and pathetic central government only concerned with newspaper headlines and TV spin.

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It's so refreshing to hear someone speak up for the under-educated like this, unrestrained by common notions of logic. Hats off. I'm delighted to see that introducing corporal punishment would cut petrol costs to £2 a gallon.

I'd like to see something done about bureaucracy. I spend all day up to my neck in red tape. But then again, I'm a ribbon manufacturer!

TV spin can be such a problem - try adjusting the picture with the 'hold' knob.

O'Mandy

guest posted 02 August 2000 05:52 PM

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Well I observed Dump The Pump. Yesterday I didn't fill the tank on my lawnmower all day.


henry

guest posted 02 August 2000 05:51 PM

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the first fuel cell cars will be on the road in the USA in 2003. By 2010 they will be a common feature on our roads too.

How will the government tax the water on which the cars will run?

And how will the government replace the lost revenues? No environmental angle on water I imagine.

dump the pump is good as it tells the government that people have noticed their taxes rising - their pensions, fuel, national insurance, house sales are all flowing huge sums into government coffers -

most to be wasted as the money will only shore up the failures of the NHS and the education systems etc

Only reform will deliver improved services - giving power back to schools to run themselves - allowing health to operate more as a market as in every other developed country in the world.

taxation places burdens on people - but it's the waste of these precious resources which is the real crime.

as for crime, punishment for vandalism/petty crime should be decided at the local/parish level.

On an open vote, most British people would vote for corporal punishment for violent crime, for example. That would save billions on the labyrinthine criminal justice system -

we could all drive around at £2 a gallon like most people in the world, and not have our cars scratched every few weeks by mindless idiots.

democracy must get going if our quality of life is to be saved from bureaucracy and pathetic central government only concerned with newspaper headlines and TV spin.

dump the pump is a good start....more more more and quickly - speak out for what we all believe in. Don't allow bureaucrats to ruin our lives any longer.

Eric Blair

guest posted 02 August 2000 04:42 PM

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Originally posted by E. J. Ball:

Hatred of the car, and the freedom of travel that it represents, has always been as natural to the labour party as breathing.

Just picture yourselves standing at a bus stop in the pouring rain for hours each day. The perfect vision of the future under Blair's regime.

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What nonsense. Nothing wrong with buses, they are a very pleasant way to travel. And since I spent many hours standing in the rain waiting for buses while the Tories were in power, I'm not sure what difference it makes what government is in.

Mark Southern

guest posted 02 August 2000 03:56 PM

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Imposing regressive taxes like fuel tax is remarkable from a goverment supporting the middle to lower paid elector.

However

Income tax is a proportional tax but provides many avenues for avoidance/evasion

See labour party donor lists for examples.

I suggest

Proportional the Road Fund License to engine size exponentially.

Then

I agree with road tolls but not based on 'mileage' based on 'time'. The 'Road Fund License' should be renamed 'annual road toll charge'.

Allowing all visiting vehicle to be charge a minimum one months road toll charge on entry at all ports.

I think all haulage companies would appreciate this.

We should spend a little longer reading the rules like the French in Europe not simply imposing them Verbatim

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Originally posted by ft_beattie:

Other countries raise more revenue through direct taxes, largely income and payroll taxes. Would all the dump-the-pump campaigners be happy for their income tax to go up? One penny on the standard rate of income tax is equivalent to about 6p on a litre of petrol. And let's not forget - the Labour party spent 18 years in opposition making the case for higher income taxes and getting hammered for it.

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James

guest posted 02 August 2000 03:11 PM

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Am with you on that one

quote:

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Originally posted by Stanley:

This discussion is so cute... and yet some of it is so misconceived, too. The idea of dumping Tony Blair because of the price of petrol is somewhat of a contradiction, seeing as the Tories introduced the dreaded "fuel escalator", and have made no concrete claims to cut the tax if they ever get to power. By that time I doubt that cars will still exist.

As far as the pollution/hippie/walk-to-work debate, that's all very nice but cars are really quite useful and it would be a shame to waste more time on commuting than many of us do. (Quick aside: the secondary smoke thing is rubbish.) SPeak to an American and he will see the right to drive his car as a fundamental right.

Finally, dump-the-pump is obviously a waste of time. What will it do: vaguely change the patterns of income for petrol companies. THEY certainly won't reduce their prices, and I'm glad to see that they are just about the only ones not being attacked seriously in this debate. So what the campaign will show is that the public wants cheaper petrol. Wow. Tell me something new, Sherlock...

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Stanley

guest posted 02 August 2000 03:03 PM

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This discussion is so cute... and yet some of it is so misconceived, too. The idea of dumping Tony Blair because of the price of petrol is somewhat of a contradiction, seeing as the Tories introduced the dreaded "fuel escalator", and have made no concrete claims to cut the tax if they ever get to power. By that time I doubt that cars will still exist.

As far as the pollution/hippie/walk-to-work debate, that's all very nice but cars are really quite useful and it would be a shame to waste more time on commuting than many of us do. (Quick aside: the secondary smoke thing is rubbish.) SPeak to an American and he will see the right to drive his car as a fundamental right.

Finally, dump-the-pump is obviously a waste of time. What will it do: vaguely change the patterns of income for petrol companies. THEY certainly won't reduce their prices, and I'm glad to see that they are just about the only ones not being attacked seriously in this debate. So what the campaign will show is that the public wants cheaper petrol. Wow. Tell me something new, Sherlock...

Thomas Kidman

guest posted 02 August 2000 02:53 PM

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1. Many motorists, or at least motorists driving many miles, have fuel paid for by their employer on fuel cards so will have little economic interest in the 'dump-the-pump' campaign.

2. As a diesel 55mpg driver I perceive that fuel is not so important a cost consideration when one takes into account the depreciation, maintenance, motor vehicle licence, insurance, breakdown cover, parking charges, bridge tolls, planned inner-city charges etc.

3. Whilst I would be happy to use public transport more it just doesn't run the services to do the journeys I need. My teenage children can't even get home by 'bus from nearby towns in the evening.

4. If we assume the car is here to stay let's encourage better use. For a start why not change the ridiculous Prescott M4 bus lane into a lane that anyone with say 2 or 3 passengers or more can use? It seems idiotic to see empty taxis using the lane to pass cars with four people in.

Governments set taxes and market forces set prices. Together they set the fuel price and I see 'dump-the-pump' days as fairly futile. I would like us all to be more economical with fuel (and indeed any other commodity) by any means possible and any consequent reduction in demand should tend to lower the market element of the price.

E. J. Ball

guest posted 02 August 2000 02:47 PM

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I sincerely hope that all motorists who voted labour at the last election realise that it is not the "pump" which requires dumping, but the government which they chose to elect.

Hatred of the car, and the freedom of travel that it represents, has always been as natural to the labour party as breathing.

Just picture yourselves standing at a bus stop in the pouring rain for hours each day. The perfect vision of the future under Blair's regime.

ft_beattie

FT posted 02 August 2000 02:42 PM

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Other countries raise more revenue through direct taxes, largely income and payroll taxes. Would all the dump-the-pump campaigners be happy for their income tax to go up? One penny on the standard rate of income tax is equivalent to about 6p on a litre of petrol. And let's not forget - the Labour party spent 18 years in opposition making the case for higher income taxes and getting hammered for it.

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Alan Beattie

Gavin Collins

guest posted 02 August 2000 02:40 PM

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quote:

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Originally posted by ft_beattie:

OK. But we know that higher alcohol and tobacco taxes will lead to more smuggling from abroad, depriving the government of revenue. Also, if we are serious about reducing car use (and we know that petrol taxes aren't the way to do it), wouldn't a simple way of solving both problems be to shift taxes away from petrol and on to road tolls and other forms of congestion charging?

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I think that car drivers have forgotten just how valuable are the excise duties which the Chancellor collects are to the government's tax receipts! Why shift tax away from petrol sales when it is such as easy way to collect revenue?

Taxing car use through taxes on petrol is a much more simple and efficient way of raising revenue than reintroducing 18th century system of road turnpikes.

To be honest, the Chancellor could easily increase the amount of excise collected from Petrol sales if he wanted to - drivers have relatively big pockets and the number of new car registrations would suggest that the price of petrol is not a significant factor influencing the frequency or length of car journeys - speed and convience are more important to road users.

Relatively high petrol prices compared to mainland Europe and even large scale smugling is a small price to pay if the Chancellor can keep income taxes down (and that affects us all, including drivers.

Dave

guest posted 02 August 2000 02:23 PM

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Unfortunately, it would take me about 11 hours to walk to work, and 11 hours to walk back, leaving me 2 hours in which to work eat and sleep, so I for one won't be backing the "Dump The Car" campaign. Of course, I could use public transport. I'd need to get up 2 hours earlier each day, and arrive home 2 hours later each night and would cost me around £10 per day. I'll stick to my Lexus, thank you.

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Originally posted by Steve:

The best way to Dump The Pump is to Dump The Car. In the last year the only time I have driven a vehicle has been to move house.

I walk to work (come rain or shine), use public transport during the day and taxis at night.

I have to suffer the pollution of cars, lets remember you can fit 99 car drivers on a double decker bus, and see no reason why drivers shouldn't be punished for poinsoning me. After all, I don't complaion about the tax on my cigarettes.

It's true that more investment is needed for public transport in rural areas but future duty rises are ring-fenced for this purpose.

The car has actually made traffic slower in London than it was at the turn of the 20th centuary.

Remember, there has been a huge rise in the incidence of asthma over the last 50 years. Asthma, and other related illnesses, kill far more children each year than BSE, unknown murderers and a plethora of other media mania issues. Those same people who want to protect their children from murderers are happy to kill them slowly with the pollution from their cars.

DUMP THE CAR

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Steve

guest posted 02 August 2000 01:20 PM

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Originally posted by Ross Wilkinson:

...cigarettes you voluntarily smoke is an addiction and has led to more deaths than is conceivably bearable...Passive smoking in pubs and clubs leads to hundreds of deaths a year.

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I agree that addiction to nicotine and cigarettes lead to a massive number of deaths. The tax smokers pay on cigarettes more than covers the cost of their treatment on the NHS, if fact it probably more than covers the cost of the NHS.

Pubs and Clubs would ban smoking if it made economic sence, hence the reason some have no smoking areas. However, you are entirly at liberty to decide whether you enter a pub or club that allows smoking and a commercial organisation should be allowed to make the highest available legitimate profit.

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Originally posted by Ross Wilkinson:

If all the car drivers decided to walk to work or get public transport, if you made allowances for delays on the tube due to congestion or trains being full the economy would lose billions of pounds a year!!!

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I disagree, how long do people spend in traffic jams. If more people used trains they would be more economically viable and more investment would be made in them. Residents of Hong Kong and Singapore rely on public transport. Is their economy suffering because of it?

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Originally posted by Ross Wilkinson:

How can you justify smoking which limits your life and driving a car which indirectly leads to massive revenue collection and technological advancement.

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What technological advances do we get except for those related to the car? I could argue there have been technological advances from cigarettes, after all the factories have got more efficient.

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Originally posted by Ross Wilkinson:

The cures that we have for cancer came from people working 24/7 and getting to working quickly and efficiently each morning by CAR! They didn't sit and wait for the next bus or empty train!!


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But they could have done. It's easier to work on a train or bus (read through papers etc.) than it is in a car.

I don't want to stop people from driving. I just believe that the tax is legitimate and avoidable in most cases.

Mark Southern

guest posted 02 August 2000 01:14 PM

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M. Beattie

If this goverment is so keen on reducing the use of the car, then why does it consistently offer restructuring funds to the manufacturers

BMW

Rover

Nissan

ford

Etc Etc

Or is it simply to raise indirect taxes from any source that does have political lobbying power to fund "Extravagant spending plans"

Eductaion

Health

Airbus

Gordon Browns Office Refurb

Etc Etc

Let be honest with ourselves

39 replies in 3 pages: 1 2 3

All times are GMT

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