I'm not a big whiner about taxes. But the carbon tax here in BC is stupid. Remarkably so. So, for the most part, are the supporters of it.
The idea of it was to force consumers to use less gasoline, by making it more expensive. It was supposed to get people to use public transit more, buy more fuel efficient cars, walk, bike, etc.
The reality is that most people, especially poor people, don't have the luxury of buying fuel efficient cars or living close enough to their jobs to walk or bike. Public transit, under the same assholes that instituted the carbon tax, got way more expensive. My husband rides his bike to work (we're lucky to be close enough and for him to be healthy enough to bike 25km a day), but when the weather isn't cooperative, he can't. So we worked it out. At $1/L for gas, it costs FAR more to take the bus. Even with the discount he gets for buying tickets. I know the 'but you have to buy insurance and keep the car maintained' argument, but the fact is, most people do that anyway.
And furthermore, it's not feasible anywhere but in the large cities. And then only ones with good transit. I challenge you to live carless in Calgary for 6 months. Over the winter. Sure, it's *possible*, but so is living on the street. It sucks, and most people won't do it if they have an alternative.
And even if you're lucky enough to live in a city with decent transit, and be on a good route, it's not a reasonable alternative when you have more than one kid. Buses are NOT kid friendly. In fact, in this city, you can be denied access to the bus if you've got a stroller that the driver deems "too big". And that's a one kid stroller. There's no way in hell I could get both of my little kids on the bus at the same time and look after them both safely. One is only 2 months old and needs holding at all times. The other is 3, autistic, and a holy handful.
My 14 year old daughter uses public transit to get to and from school. It blows. It's great in the morning, for the commuters. But after school, there are only buses ever 15 minutes, and they are so crammed full, she usually can't sit down, and is regularly pushed around. This is a bloody annoyance for most people, and most wouldn't put up with it. Public transit SUCKS.
Finally, the carbon tax is not fair to farmers. There are no gas saving alternatives to combines. Cutting down on usage cuts down on profits. The carbon tax took a bite out of their incomes. A bite they couldn't possibly avoid.
One last thing: is there any evidence that fuel usage has dropped since the carbon tax was introduced? I'm looking for any evidence at all.
The carbon tax is a regressive tax.