Green Budget 2008?

The BBC's speculatively-titled story "Chancellor looks to green budget" is pretty thread-bare, starting with the opening line:

Green taxes and measures to help people struggling to pay energy bills are likely to be among changes in the chancellor's first Budget on Wednesday.

It goes on to speculate that the chancellor, Alistair Darling, might put a levy on larger vehicles like people carriers, putting their price up by £2000.

And that's it!

Well, if that's all the chancellor can do for green issues in the UK Budget on Wednesday then that's pretty poor for helping people go green. Isn't a people carrier a more efficient way of carrying 6 or 7 people than having to drive 2 vehicles? If there's any truth in that rumour then it would be a right poke in the eye for people who car-share.

We understand putting taxes on the least fuel efficient vehicles, but isn't that why some people pay more road tax than others and why inefficient vehicles cost more to run purely from the fact that their MPG is so poor?

Come on Darling, where's the incentives to go green. Saying "you can't do this" or "can't do that" is simply negative. Why don't you give us:

  • Increased grants for home solar projects
  • Increased grants for home insulation
  • More green spaces for community allotments
  • Increase tax on the most polluting vehicles
  • Greater taxes on polluting businesses
  • A stop on the expansion of any more UK airports
  • Serious public debate over nuclear energy

etc etc

That would be a good start. He's already effectively nationalised the Northern Rock bank, why can't he part-nationalise some of our public transport to stop the greedy private companies from milking the public?

Let's wait until Wednesday, aye?


The 'green' movement has played right into the governments hands here. All this government is interested in is rasing taxes and environmental concerns have given them simply more excuses to increase tax without giving rewards to those that do cut back.

I don't believe public transport should receive a penny more of my tax until it is guaranteed to provide me and my family with a proper service - bearing in mind it is already subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of hundreds of millions a year.

My family live in a rural lincolnshire village. The first public transport bus of the day is at 9.15am!!!! How on earth is anybody expected to get to work on this when you are required in work by 9am......My daughter has just started work in a local town approx 10 miles away. She actually cycles in (risking life and limb as there or no cycle lanes, cycle paths or even grass verges) but in severe weather she would like to use the bus. This is not an option so we have to take her in the car. My wife also uses the bus to get to town for shopping but even she uses the Tesco bus as it is cleaner, more reliable and is free!!

I would like to see those demanding that we give up our cars and use public transport to actually come and live for a long period in a rural location. I believe they would see things in a different light. Usually such people live in the center of cities such as London which are well served by public transport. I don't see why my taxes should pay for people in London to have better public transport, instead, if taxes are raised I'd want them spent on our rural public transport, even if it runs at a loss.

Too much media time is given to London as a beacon of how public transport can get people out of their cars when the reality is that London is completely unrepresentative of the rest of the UK.

We're totally with you on the issue of limited rural services. The problem with "public" transport is that it's still in the hands of private firms and if it's not profitable they don't do it.

The right thing to do would be to have loss-leader services where the busy services subsidise the rural services - this *may* already be the case, but public transport companies need to stop lining their own pockets in order to fund their own leader's political ambitions (we're talking Brian Souter here)

The sooner there is a major shake-up in public transport the better.

Rural services need massive investment. Currently our public service buses are ex-city buses that have reached the end of their life. They regularly break down and belche out clouds of smoke. They also run with only a few people on board.

This is where the environmental groups fail dismally to pursuade the general public of the validity in anything they say. The CO2 emissions from a typical double decker bus are approx 10 times that of my 4x4 truck. It is often said that to go by bus to my local town produces less CO2 but what is not made clear is that the argument only works if at least 10 seats are occupied on that bus and even then it still emits the same as my 4x4.

You'd have to have significantly more than 10 people on board to make a real saving in CO2 emissions when you also take into account that the bus has to be moved to and from the depot while carrying no passengers at all.

If my 4x4 had two people on board then the bus suddenly needs to have over 20 occupants to match the 4x4. You will NEVER see a rural bus out here with more than 10 people on it during the day.

Clearly, environmental groups need to stop fighting silly battles over particular vehicle types which simply diverts resource and public opinion when their arguments are fundamentally flawed and instead propose sensible suggestions such as running smaller 10 seat mini buses on these routes. The 10 seater minibus emits only 50% more CO2 than my 4x4 but with all 10 seats occupied produces a tiny amount per occupant. It is far easier to fill to capacity a smaller vehicle. I would not argue with that and it would mean much lower running costs to the fleet operator with more profit available - is this too sensible a suggestion????

I think you've got a good point. The whole situation needs to be looked at in detail with ALL the facts and figures. I appreciate that 4x4 bashing is a sore point for those that genuinely require such vehicles - shouldn't that be a consideration too? It's the Chelsea Tractors, the luxury 4x4s that roll around urban environments as status symbols that irk the green lobby, but I don't think rich people with more interest in their own image will allow friends in high places to tax them too much ;)

With London congestion charging potentially putting 7x seater MPVs into a higher bracket is utter madness. Maybe diesel MPVs could be used to cure the rural public transport issue? Again, all these points need to be looked at in detail with EVERYBODY involved in the process, not just the evangelical greens and politicians who are too out of touch with the people that put them in power running the show.