London’s Uber, Cab Drivers Catch Yellow Vests’ Bug, Rail Against Fossil Fuel Taxes

Friday, April 12, 2019
By Paul Martin

Authored by Chloe Anagnos
Fri, 04/12/2019

Also known as the yellow-vests movement, the gilets jaunes movement in France gets a lot of hate from the left-leaning media. To critics, climate change requires government action, and if that means the working class will have to endure more poverty and misery, that’s just how it is.

But as the gilets jaunes’ message spreads far and wide, the sentiment against fossil fuel taxes is becoming the strongest in neighboring England. And as a new environmental policy goes into effect this month, cab and Uber drivers protest, claiming that charges associated with the new rules will cut their earnings in a meaningful way.

The new rules, which are collectively known as the ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ), go into effect starting April 8, forcing drivers of older vehicles to pay a £12.50 charge to drive inside the northern and southern circular roads in London during peak hours.

To Uber drivers, this could mean £90 a week in charges, wiping out a major chunk of their earnings.

While the new policy does not apply to “clean” cars such as hybrid or electric vehicles, older models are vulnerable. And which drivers are impacted the most as a result? Those who cannot afford to purchase newer cars.

In other words, this new tax isn’t the solution to climate change; it is only a way to make the poor poorer. Unfortunately for the environmentalists’ plan, those impacted the most are not going to go down without a fight.

To environmentalists such as Katie Nield, a lawyer at the nonprofit ClientEarth, which is backed by celebrities such as the members of the band Coldplay, this new legislation could be the future of the country, as it could set the standard for air-pollution regulation from now on.

“The way that our legislation works isn’t really good enough,” Nield told reporters.

“Air pollution has risen up the political agenda — and the public psyche — even though the same stuff was happening five years ago.”

But if drivers can’t pay the bills, worrying about air pollution drops to the very bottom of their priority list. So who will support these policies if they are unhappy?

The Rest…HERE

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