Do as I say, not as I do

The hypocrisy of this government over the green debate continues. Whilst we are being taxed from the skies, off the roads and out of business the government is actually increasing its CO2 outputs. The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) criticises ministers and senior civil servants for failing to set the right example. The report analyses the performance of 21 government departments and agencies against targets on all aspects of green behaviour. It says: "No department can make a reasonable claim to have met the requirements of all the targets assessed." The report found that most departments are using energy less efficiently compared to previous years and that, on average, they generate more waste. Most were way off track to meet the target of reducing carbon emissions by 12.5% on 2000 levels by 2010.

The arrogance of this government to lecture us on how to live our daily lives while they do as they please is astonishing. It just backs up my view that this government is preaching the green debate not through some moral concern but to jump on the vote winning band wagon and as a vehicle for more taxation. It also backs up my fears that this is a "do as I say, not as I do" government.



The Government's internal mechanisms to try to reduce its carbon footprint rely on exhortation and regulation. There is an incentive deficit. Partly, this is because they have failed to create incentives that apply equally to all, including themselves. But even if they had, government is not constrained by the discipline of the bottom line, as other organisations and people are. When we save energy, we save our own money. When government saves energy, it saves other people's money. That is why government (or government-funded organisations) will always be less efficient than private people and organisations. And that is why government should be responsible for as little as possible. The growth of government's share of GDP under this Government is inherently inefficient, not just economically, but socially and environmentally too.