Sunday, 8 June 2008

Labour MP - Congestion charge will 'cost votes'

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Manchester Blackley Labour MP Graham Stringer has told the BBC that government support for a Greater Manchester congestion charge will alienate voters in marginal seats.

Speaking on BBC1's The Politics Show he said:

"To have a Labour government, you have to have an alliance not only of core Labour voters but of people who, before 1997, in constituencies like Bury North and Bolton West didn't vote Labour. The congestion tax is another pressure on that coalition. It is another wedge that will break that coalition up and make it much more difficult to deliver a Labour government."

The plans, to be unveiled tomorrow, would see a two-ring scheme set in place with drivers being charged up to £5 to enter the city centre at peak times. Drivers would pay a deposit for an electric tag, which would trigger charges on journeys into the city in the morning and evening rush periods.

Is the debate on environmental taxes shifting and are people less willing to pay them?? I think this is a particularly relevant question given the lively debate which is still going on over on Liberal Democrat Voice regarding proposals for road pricing.



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