Friday, 14 August 2009

Create Employment, Promote Health by Targeting a 50% 2020 Reduction, imaginative Local Incentive Licensing of Energy, Food and Transport

Open updated letter to Minda in Totnes - the transition town

Hi Minda, the idea behind transition towns is fascinating and admirable, I am not at all worried by peak oil, economists every decade or so have been telling us it is 20 years away since the 70's. What motivates me, thee and many of us, is safeguarding our planet's ecology through local action. Recently, I started to blog whilst tweeter fed me thousands of bits of information and ideas from the like minded... Now I want to talk about an idea I have!

No, I am not promoted my blog postings, although I feel my writing is leading me somewhere positive and life has taught me that all is possible if you dare. My plan is to spend time in a Welsh valley, maybe help friends finish an eco-dwelling and polish the idea up a bit for the Welsh Assembly - well there is still time...

I have contacted you because I want to debate and hone, what is an ultimate transition action. Do you have a Totnes green proactive economist? Might they be interested in a dialogue concerning what I propose in the rough draft below?

my kindest thanks
David Thomas

"The Taxation System is the most powerful tool we have to achieve a given end, not force, gifts or rhetoric. Sadly National Governments now lack the imagination to use it to save Earth’s Ecology and change things for the better!

So how might it be used ‘To Create Employment and Promote Health by Targeting a 50% 2020 Reduction’?

Local Incentive Licensing is a good a term as any, for an imaginative tax system to replace current Income & Value Added Taxation. It is also the only tool we have to achieve a 50% 2020 reduction, whilst funding a zero income tax band up to say £/$ 25,000!

A) Government Local Area Incentive Energy Licensing of Geothermal Energy Generation & Heating, Designated Local Wind Parks, LED Solar Energy Street Lighting & Local Super Grid, Electric Vehicle only Town/City Pay-As-You-Charge Parking and on .... a new generation of eco-Energy Companies with the technology to deliver and maintain a system, buying in through local area licences and then paying an ongoing licensing fee based on a percentage of income not an intangible 'profit'!

The annual income from licensing may be used in part to fund local authorities and agencies playing a proactive role, plus the cost of regionally produced User Energy Capture & Storage Systems for those families reliant on benefits, to substantially reduce their cost of energy.

An alternative energy strategy that would target a huge reduction in a Nation’s Carbon Footprint by 2020 & 2050, promote green business locally and further empower the transition of oil & gas businesses like BP into eco-energy here in the UK and around the World

B) Government Local Area Incentive Food & Health Licensing would add a distance graded tax at point-of-sale through a coded food labeling scheme to: 1) Non Organic Foods that could be grown locally and all processed foods; 2) All land & buildings used for meat production; 3) Meat & meat products produced over 10 miles ( here in Europe) from the point-of-sale would especially be subject to distance graded increasing tax.

A small Part of the annual income should be used to fund the expansion of; 1) Local Allotment & Free Seed Schemes; 2) The creation and promotion of Town Centre Food/Health Resorts with a Local Producers Farmers Market, Local Businesses, Craft Shops & Cafes, Free Staffed Crèche & Children’s Park, Exercise Park, Educational & Activity Centres, Bicycle Shop & Linked Access to Sponsored Mountain Bike Park, Gym, Low Cost Visitor Car Parking & Transport to the Resort; 3) Promotion & Support of Local Vegetable Gardening 4) Supervised Allocated Allotments for those unable to find employment ... and on

This would help counter the extreme damage that animal farming is doing to the Earth’s ecosystem; reducing the eco-cost of the refrigeration, transport, packing and treatment of non-local foodstuff; Promote a healthy life style and diet, reduce damage to our health and the cost of the Health Service from diets based on meat, poor nutritional processed food plus pesticide rich vegetables & fruit - Diets that are at least as damaging as smoking & breathing hydrocarbon emissions!; It would greatly stimulate local economies and healthy food production; It would regenerate every town centre ... and on

C) Government Local Area Incentive Transport Licensing would be used to reduce the journeys made and distances driven using hydrocarbon fuelled vehicles, by the further licensing of all such forms of vehicles used for business and transport purposes by annual distances travelled. Whilst the purchase and use of electric vehicles built-to-order locally within say 20 miles or a particular distance determined by population density, would be exempt from any form of tax. When subject to replacement, all Electric Passenger Cars used by business would be offered to employees / general public at the nominal depreciated book value, to promote the long term use of each EV.

Small businesses who produce built-to-order electric vehicles would also be free of most forms of tax thus promoting the design, technological advance, production and competitiveness of all forms of electric vehicle!

Each EV manufacturer would pass on long term replacement warranties of all energy, motive, power control and mechanical components, it had chosen to use through an eMOT service dealer. No crash testing of low volume vehicle production would take place, instead each design would comply with a generic build safety standard. Crashed vehicles that resulted in an injury, would be subject to analysis to improve build safety standards - paid for through the responsible driver's insurance.

Regional employment not robotic one flavour multi-national manufactured hydrocarbon driven cars, fast food outlets, designer shops... or over legislated controls that would rob smaller business of any part in vehicle manufacture!

I have sketched out a plan for Green Local Economic Development & Promotion on a scale that would safeguard our eco-inheritance and progeny!

Much of these proposals might find ready support in France. Whereas in Europe, the UK has perhaps the poorest locally supplied food economy, a greater percentage of the population eating unhealthy diets, sitting in traffic jams breathing fumes/particulates and addicted to shopping consumerism. There is an evident need to rebuild the economy by localising energy supply, business, employment, food production and transport through radical targeted incentive licensing.

We each hold our eco-inheritance and progeny’s future in the palm of our hand. Please let our love and imagination, drive us to create change...

Thank you
My kindest wishes for your future