Large families should pay more tax to save the planet

Parents should have fewer children and those who do not should pay more tax to curb population growth, a BBC wildlife presenter says.

Chris Packham, who has no children of his own, believes the move would protect the planet from too many humans.

His suggestion is seen as dangerously close to China’s authoritarian one-child policy which rewards compliant parents with a cash lump sum upon retirement.


While Mr Packham claims that he doesn’t want to punish people for having large families, he does say that it is “absolutely” right to encourage people to have fewer children.

Speaking to the Radio Times he said: “I wouldn’t actually penalise people for having too many children, as I think the carrot always works better than the stick.

“But I would offer them tax breaks for having small families, say, 10% off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child.

“And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.”


He added: “Fact is, we all eat food, breathe air and require space, and the more of us there are, the less of those commodities there are for other people and, of course, for the animals.”

Mr Packham, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), presents the BBC’s Springwatch show which follows a variety of wildlife during the spring.

And although he doesn’t have any children of his own Mr Packham is helping his ex-girlfriend raise her 16-year-old daughter.


In November it emerged that the OPT wants the Scottish Government to encourage families to limit themselves to just two children. The group was given a parliamentary platform by two MSPs.

OPT, branded “eco-fascist” by critics, staged a conference at the Scottish Parliament supported by SNP MSP Dr Ian McKee and Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

The radical group urged First Minister Alex Salmond to launch a Government campaign to curb family size, using the slogan “two’s plenty”.

OPT is calling for Scotland’s population to be cut by a quarter.

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