Simon Mollan has clarified his assertion that eco-taxes are "sackcloth".
Oddly, however, the arguments he goes on to make are about social justice, not prosperity in general. Yes, pensioners, students and unemployed people will be hit by fuel taxes. Perhaps there will be specifics in the Huhne manifesto as to whether all these groups will be compensated. Even so there will be winners and losers, but if that were going to stop us we would never change tax policy at all.
Simon also argues that "a certain amount fuel consumption is inelastic – both for business and people, and therefore increased taxation will not have the behaviour altering effects that Huhne thinks it will have." Yes, I agree. I have low expectations of eco taxes to change behaviour. They will a little, but lets not forget the good they do by raising revenue.
"In this scenario ... business will be less competitive..." Well obviously, if any particular tax is too high, there will be a cost to prosperity. (But not to overall competitiveness because exchanges rates will adjust.) But within a fairly wide range one tax can be substituted for another will little overall effect on prosperity. If we are already at the point where energy is so expensive compared to, say, labour or land, that economic choices are being grossly distorted, I would like to hear the case made before damning eco-taxes.
And although I am doubtful of the prospect of eco taxes changing individual behaviour an awful lot, they can change investment and lifestyle decisions in the long run, and investment in renewables is what we want.