UK govt. cutbacks hit Britain’s electric car scheme
The UK’s new Conservative lead coalition government is doing more or less what Tory governments are expected to do: make public spending cuts.
But this is the ‘new’ Tory leadership, softened by cuddly Liberal Democrat partners and promises to be Britain’s greenest government yet, albeit a belt-tightening one in a time of economic crisis and ‘necessary’ fiscal austerity.
Well, here is an example of this compromise vis-à-vis Britain’s electric car scheme, first announced in March by the previous Labour government. Two articles from the UK press put a different shine on the proceedings.
From a short, but positive article in the Independent entitled ‘Green light for electric car grants’:
The grant will reduce the cost of new ultra-low carbon vehicles by 25 per cent, capped at £5,000. The incentive has been agreed until the end of March 2012, with the level of grant being reviewed in January 2012.
Yet, according to a piece in the Guardian, opposition politicians and environmentalists are seeing the glass half empty – or rather 80% empty:
[T]he government has committed only to an initial fund of £43m, to run until March 2012, which will be reviewed in January 2012. Under the original £230m scheme first announced in March 2010 by Labour, there was no plan to review the scheme annually said a spokesperson for shadow transport secretary, Sadiq Khan.
A Greenpeace campaigner gave support for the government’s funding the scheme, but also called on the coalition to give the full amount as promised by Labour and a ‘long-term commitment’ to the greening of transport and getting more electric vehicles on UK roads.