Letters to the Editor - 08/01 - France failing, Congestion charge, Best of Twitter

France failing

[Re: France’s failed socialist experiment is turning into a tragedy, yesterday]

The impending triple-dip recession in France should be the ultimate humiliation for Labour’s Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. French President Francois Hollande’s strategy seems to have delivered precisely what Labour predicted would happen in the UK as a result of austerity. That’s not to say we’re doing a lot better here, with a massive deficit, and state spending not far below 50 per cent of GDP. But we can only sympathise with talented, hard-working French people – and welcome them to London.

Name withheld

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Congestion charge

[Re: Business anger at plans to hike congestion levy, yesterday]

The idea of raising the congestion charge from £10 a day to £11.50 confirms the levy’s status as a cash cow for Transport for London, rather than a measure purely aimed at reducing traffic or carbon emissions in the capital. Londoners need to ask themselves whether a tax that disproportionately hits those reliant on car travel is the best way to raise funds for transport projects, particularly given that the charge has now doubled (nominally, at least) from its original level of £5 set back in 2003.

Greg Martin

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BEST OF TWITTER

In uber-green Germany, electricity generation from (dirty) lignite coal is now at its highest since 1990.
@RogerHelmerMEP

Eurozone core consumer price inflation hit record low in December. Mario Draghi sees no signs of deflation.
@minefornothing

UK 139th out of 153 countries for capital investment as percentage of GDP. Just behind El Salvador. Wow.
@SimonFParker

It might be cold in the US, but thanks to shale gas, the costs of keeping warm are more affordable.
@DouglasCarswell