Passing the buck

So it looks as if the cabinet has managed to successfully get rid of responsibility for introducing either a kilometre tax for motorists or getting rid of the new car sales tax by basically agreeing to take steps – after the next election.

The kilometre tax for lorries is set to be phased in in 2011 – but that will undoubtedly be delayed by the last-minute technical problems which seem to hit everything involving technology that this cabinet tries to do.
And then, of course, we will have a general election. And unless this cabinet manages to do something drastic to improve its image and win back popularity, it is extremely unlikely we will see the same trio of parties back in power.
So ministers – who are said to be sharply divided on the merits of swapping one tax for another – can happily agree to something which will probably never happen.
It must have been similar back in 2002, when the then-government drew up an agreement governing the funding and development of the Joint Strike Fighter jet. The then-ministers knew very well they would not be in power by the time the JSF financing – which was bound to exceed its early estimates – really became an issue.
Long-term decision making about such controversial subjects is often just about passing the buck – or the euro.

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