photo by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (bisgovuk on Flickr Creative Commons)

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.

Read more:

Guardian – UK electric car grant scheme ‘cut by 80%’