During a conversation about climate change an interesting, if rather controversial, idea was floated regarding the tax systm which actually makes a lot of sense.
The cause of climate change is not fossil fuels, it is the overuse of fossil fuels, deforestation, etcetera, caused by overpopulation. In 1850 the population of the UK was 27 million, by the end of WW2 it was just over 40 million , and it is now set to reach 70 million in the next few years. Quite obviously this cannot continue, and equally obviously extra food production, the covering of countryside with houses and roads, and the extra energy usage is a majour contibutory factor to our rising polution.
Governments use taxation to try to affect behaviour, such as tobacco & petrol duty, alcohol taxes, congestion charges etc, yet, they continue to encourage overpopulation by rewarding people for breeding. Those who choose not to add to the propblem by not having children are actually punished by being taxed to subsidise those who do breed by paying for child benefits, education, and so on.
The radical, but perfectly sensible suggestion was that all child benefits should be scrapped, and, that whilst the basic rate of tax should remain at 20% every person who has a child should be taxed at an extra 5% for each child (% for one child 30% for two children etc) to pay for the education, medical care, and other costs to the state of their children.
A sort of "privatisation" of breeding.
A concept which, financially, makes a good deal of sense even if it would never actually be accepted, not least because nopoliticianwould be brave enough to even consider it. If the State can use tax to control what we smoke, drink, drive, eat (proposed sugar tax), etc, why shouldn't it also use tax to control overpopulation.