Britons may not want to “foot the bill to save the planet” as reported in The Independent – well who does wants to more taxes – but whilst a third say that they are opposed to more legislation in support of green policies (can they name such legislation?), and a third of those polled also believe that green taxes will have no impact on the environment, the poll results do suggest that two thirds are in favour of such measures…which is the good news.

More great cartoons from GADO here

UPDATE: From The Times Peter Riddell on our and our politicians’ self-reinforcing attitudes — and how these change, perhaps echoing political cycles — today’s delusions & selfishness could mark a low-point.

Attitudes on tax also fluctuate. The British Social Attitudes survey shows that, in the early Thatcher years, 54 per cent favoured keeping taxes and spending on health, education and social benefits at the same level. This fell to about 31 to 34 per cent by the 1997 election. Over the same period, support for increasing taxes and spending more on services rose from 32 to about 60 per cent. By the time of the last election in 2005, however, backing for more spending was down to 46 per cent, and staying the same was 43 per cent. Several recent polls…have highlighted increasing scepticism about whether the expansion in government programmes is being efficiently spent, as well as growing resistance to higher taxes.

UPDATE: What Britons do rather than say that they will do to pollsters in revealed by data from the Office of National Statistics reported in The Guardian. They respond to incentives in the wider sense of the word: they are recycling more, but travelling more by air and by car, reflecting the impact of market forces, peer pressure and regulations.

Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns, Mike Childs, said ministers had to do much more to help people live “less polluting lives”, including tougher energy efficiency standards for products and cars, greater investment in public transport, and taxes to make it cheaper and easier for people to go green.


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