Please drive safely and enjoy the view!
It's not all bad. In fact, at first glance the outlook is really very pleasant...
Cars generate plenty of economic benefits. Here in Guernsey we have a thriving motor industry that employs more than 500 people in the sale, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles and related parts and accessories, and a further 50 or so in the wholesale or retail sale of fuel. Import duty on fuel provides public revenue to the tune of around £20m, and we're also starting to see some revenue from the first registration duty that was introduced earlier this year.
When the analysis was last done in 2013, it was estimated that the motor industry contributed 1.5% to Guernsey's total GDP. Although the definition of motor industry goes well beyond the sphere of cars (it includes public transport and haulage, for example), it's clear that our Car is King culture has some positive direct effects on the public coffers.
Cars in Guernsey get thousands of people to work every day, meaning those people can earn money and pay income tax. Cars also transport people to shops, restaurants, attractions and plenty of other destinations where they can spend money and contribute indirectly to the Guernsey economy. These benefits are often thought of as the benefits of cars, but actually they are the benefits of mobility. It is the ability to move around the island efficiently that is important, and the only way in which the mode of transport is relevant is how accessible it is.
Cars have some clear economic benefits...
... so I can understand why the suggestion that we actually subsidise cars sounds like crazy talk.
It's time to shift into second gear.