Monday, August 04, 2008

Driving Miss, Crazy Thinking?

Just watching a BBC Breakfast News report on a plan to tax folk out of older, less efficient cars into new, more efficient ones.

I'm all for efficiency measures; not sure keen on taxes, to be blunt.

Featuring Tim Yeo MP, it is an interesting situation. Actually, interesting to me was also the fact that I think I heard that of his committee of 17, um, 16 were not in favour (tbc* - it hasn't been repeated in any subsequent slots, oddly), but he was sure 'it would have got though if they hadn't had to rush 'cos they were all off on hols now.' Hmn.

To be sure, he was 'balanced' by a lady from the RAC, but I notice she has been dropped in subsequent clips. Which is a shame, because she is making the fair point that it is hardly fair, or very eco (what is the carbon consequence of a new car's manufacture?), to hit folk who still have the car they bought under available rules a while ago, and then try and force them to buy a new one in the name of green.

Mr. Yeo at least was advocating that revenue generated remained within the eco-pot, but again I think I caught he was talking about paying folk like me to scrap my 11-year old Volvo.

Now, I don't know what he is proposing, but it is currently something like £180 for a junker. But my car is, to all intents and purposes, perfect. Admittedly, it is only worth £2000 at best, but even if they compo'd me that value, just what the heck can I get? There seems to be some odd, dare I say, London pol/chatterati notion, that I happen to have the extra £15,000 on top to buy a Prius, assuming they did an estate that carries what mine does.

For possibly selfish reasons, but also with my eco-eyebrow cranked as well, I am not too thrilled the direction which this one is going, nor with the way our national broadcaster is trying to rather over-enthusiastically push the agenda of those who would claim one thing but possibly not have it all thought out as well as it might. And not for the first time.

Addendum - looks like Mr. Yeo was early morning only. There was a follow-on with a chap from the Society of Motor Traders (who one presumes might have a vested interest in flogging new, but possibly second hand across the board as well) and the point I am making was at least alluded to, namely the cost of the upgrade.

*Links, I am sure, to come...

Didn't take long:

BBC - MPs sceptical over car tax rise

Indy - 'Pay to scrap gas-guzzlers'

Indy - Driven to distraction

Telegraph - Government's green car tax plans in disarray - Courtesy of Dave from Solarventi

BBC - Plans for a graduated car tax

Autoindustry - NEW - Another link from Dave of Solarventi - A light right foot will do more to reduce CO2 than retrospective road tax, says the IAM - this tends to support the logic of more useage-based 'influence', which must translate into fuel tax. But this obviously becomes a political and 'fairness' (since when was that a problem) issue with those for whom driving, and over fair distances, is not really an option.

Gaurdian - NEW - The Mancunian way - Whilst being fine with all sorst of views being expressed, in light of the way media is shaped by what we are first served, I have to have a certain sympathy with the poster who notes this: 'I thought that Dr Huq was an academic specialising in pop music at a London Poly. I don't mean that in a nasty way. It is just that I don't see the connection with Manchester or transportation. Transportation is a complex issue that usually needs post-graduate training in engineering or mathematics to talk about in a sensible way. Some economics would not go astray either.'

Greenbang - NEW - Emissions car tax – a load of hot air? - I've been a bit rude, too. Sorry.

Gaurdian - NEW - Golf's water waste means only the fairways are green - Why here? Read on:

Telegraph - NEW - Anyone for green humbugs? Read to the end:)

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