In distribution of wealth, Britain is now back to 1937 levels of inequality, regressing backwards every year: that's what makes any kind of carbon tax or reliance on high prices impossible, the burden falling too unfairly.That's a damning indictment of Zanu Labour from their star commentator; in 1997 we were at 1997 levels of inequality, but in just ten years Labour have put the clock back 60 years. Sixty years of wasted effort in building One Nation, of increasing opportunities for the poorest, of cross-party consensus on 'fairness', that most defining trait of our nation. Brown's sheer incompetence at the Treasury, his economic illiteracy, his pursuance of a dogma as outdated as his beach suit and tie (lacking only the knotted hankie on the head for 1937 authenticity), his bloody-minded obstinacy and his third-rate intellect have left Labour nowhere to go but backwards.
Nowhere that is except the route that Tuscan Polly advocates; carbon rationing. This is where I usually head to C@W or Sackerson, Stumbling or Tim for an analysis. I've no idea whether the per-capita distribution of carbon 'consumption' is a bell curve or not; intuitively, I'd suspect the distribution has a longish tail, and is fairly flat. Which may mean a gap between median and average consumption. To make sense in Labour terms the base universal ration level would have to be set somewhere below median to (a) achieve an overall reduction and (b) to leave the poorest unaffected. Thus the total 'ration' in circulation would be less than aggregate demand.
Since living in cities is more carbon-efficient than living in the country, it would also mitigate against rural areas, already suffering from Labour's spend skew and high prices. Those at the heavy consumption tail of the distribution would quickly bid-up the price of unused rations on the market and would be OK. The people I suspect who would be hit hardest would be those lying in the +/- 1SD zone. Us. Normal people.
And what this would do to GDP I don't know. But carbon is one area in which Cameron's 'nudge' approach may be a lot less painful than Toynbee's universal State ration approach.