Richard Had­dock

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Countryside -

EM­MANUEL Macron is com­ing in for all sorts of ridicule over his pro­pos­als for al­le­vi­at­ing the ef­fects of the swinge­ing in­creases in fuel duty hit­ting French mo­torists.

Shaken by the strength of feel­ing against them – and the threat of a na­tional day of protest on No­vem­ber 17 – the pres­i­dent has hur­riedly sug­gested in­creas­ing wel­fare pay­ments to poorer fam­i­lies to help them cope with the higher costs of run­ning a car.

Which, as econ­o­mists have been quick to point out, is tan­ta­mount to the gov­ern­ment hand­ing peo­ple money which it can then col­lect back in tax.

We haven’t quite de­scended to that level in this coun­try but the lat­est sug­ges­tion from a group of Ox­ford re­searchers would take us pretty close to a sim­i­lar fan­tasy land.

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