Chris Green MP: ULEZ is just a tax on hard-working folk

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Fear is a tool that is all too often used by pressure groups, corporations and yes sometimes even politicians.

All too often, their mutual self-interest aligns so that they come together to push their agendas.

Sometimes the pressure and fear mongering is overt whilst at other times it is with stealth and is rather more sinister.

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The Labour shadow Foreign Secretary, during his second job on the LBC call-in show, lambasted a Londoner saying that he had to agree to the ULEZ vehicle charging zone or he did not care if his young children got asthma.

Bolton West MP Chris Green Bolton West MP Chris Green
Bolton West MP Chris Green

Perhaps to a senior figure in the Labour Party with a second job, a £12.50 daily fee to drive a car is not much, but for most working class people it would break the bank.

What makes this worse is that, whilst Labour is imposing another tax on workers and telling them to cough up for their own good, the science does not back them and they are trying to suppress scientific evidence.

The Mayor for London’s deputy asked a scientist to “reword” a study’s conclusion that found “no evidence” of the benefit to children’s lungs.

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The London Labour leadership should not be trying to coerce Queen Mary University to reword a study just because it does not support their new tax.

This came to light just days after Labour had tried to discredit and silence Imperial College scientists who said that “ULEZ had little impact on pollution”.

The scientific evidence says that the charging zone will not benefit residents in the areas concerned but we all know that the tax grab will have a devastating impact on families and small businesses who are already having a tough time.

Why should this matter to us when Londoners voted for an anti-car and tax raising mayor?

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It matters because we across Wigan, Bolton and the whole mayoral administrative area are waiting to see if we go down the same route that Sadiq Khan is taking London.

I have campaigned against the mayoral charging zone and we have won a reprieve though only after the local powers that be have overseen tens of millions of pounds of your taxes being spent on charging infrastructure.

Towns and cities across the country came up with different schemes or refused to go down this charging zone route.

Locally, we have only so far managed to pause the scheme and are still waiting to hear if it is going to morph into another tax on businesses that we will all have to end up paying for.

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TfGM even wrote to me to chastise me for being misleading when I said that the Greater Manchester charging scheme would only initially exclude cars.

They informed me that “scheme could not be extended without a statutory consultation being undertaken”.

If researchers at two universities can be put under immense political pressure to change the ‘science’ we already know the value of this “statutory consultation”.

The mayor needs to scrap this workers’ tax now!