‘What a waste of money!’ Drivers are enraged by a £1,000 no-car household subsidy.
BERLIN activists have proposed that people who do not own automobiles be paid £1,000 per year in order to reduce CO2 emissions in the city. We asked readers of this page if they think a similar benefit plan should be implemented in the United Kingdom.
In a poll of 2950 persons conducted from 09.57 a.m. on July 15 to 11 a.m. on July 21, a significant 74.5 percent of readers indicated that people who do not own a car should not receive £1,000 per year from the government. 25.1 percent of readers thought the £1000 benefit was a good idea, while 14 readers (0.4 percent) indicated they didn’t know what to think about it.
“Ridiculous waste of money our government might encourage people by making bus and train travel free if it’s that desperate to help,” wrote Londonlady1965. Many readers expressed concern that the money taken from taxes will mainly benefit those who live in cities and have access to reliable public transportation. “Great for those who live in London, but not much good for the rest of us,” Twotone remarked.
“People who get rid of their automobiles are already improving their finances, [from]saving on] gasoline, road tax, servicing, insurance, breakdown cover, and MOT,” wrote another reader, uncivilservant.
“Giving them an extra £1,000 per year in taxpayer funds on top of that seems excessive, and it’s an indulgence we can’t afford right now.
“For eco-warriors, the fact that they’re not pouring hundreds, if not thousands, of ppm of CO2 into the environment every year should be enough of a reward; they shouldn’t need to be bribed on top of that.”
The £1,000 benefit plan, according to German advocates, may reduce the number of cars on Berlin’s streets by 60,000 each year, but the project could cost around one billion euros (856 million).
According to Statistica, Berlin has a population of over 3.5 million people and 1.2 million registered automobiles, whereas London has a population of about 9.5 million people and 2.7 million registered vehicles. A comparable program implemented in the UK’s capital may remove around 135,000 cars off the city’s streets.