The news from the BBC about this story is here.
When the subsidy was cut the government was lambasted because the industry said that the subsidy – grant, was required in order to make the so-called green cars sell a bit more easily.
Reality is, the true effect of this subsidy is to provide a discount for end users and in particular, for the lease companies who seem to have benefited most and our cash has been wasted – or at least is not having the desired effect. BBC link below.
It turns out that many of these vehicles that have had generous taxpayer grants have never and probably will never be plugged into the mains electricity. Which makes a farce of the subsidy and of course the use of them in the first place.
The fuel economy figures for the vehicles concerned indicate that they should be returning somewhere in the region of 120 to 140 miles per gallon. That make an assumption of course, that they use a mix of green (ish) electrical power and of course a little bit of traditional non green petrol and or diesel via a small engine in the vehicle.
It seems that these Government subsidies or grants in the region of three thousand pounds per vehicle which is a direct subsidy from the united kingdom taxpayer is designed to ensure that environmentally friendly vehicles are funded and used.
Now I understand that we need to encourage all vehicle owners – including car drivers to consider their own vehicle usage and also should be encouraged to go green where appropriate. We all know that as air breathers on this planet there is a problem with air quality in and around the big cities, this is not United Kingdom thing it’worldwidede thing, we as humans are using fossil fuels, burning oil in order to maintain our economics and movement of people. but that same flexibility and economic empowerment comes at a price, the price paid is the cost to our air quality and health.
It is therefore only right that we consider providing some form of subsidy, some form of financial assistance to those that want to go green it makes a difference for all of us. We know full well that there is an environmental costs of running petrol and diesel vehicles, this has to be funded in some way shape or form. Or at least the environmental costs has to be covered therefore why not subsidise electric vehicles.
So here’s the rub. The subsidy that we provide, that taxpayers provide isn’t being used that carefully.
Based on the mileage records of companies that have purchased these highly efficient vehicles – these confirm that yes they have received a subsidy for going green but have never used the technology and I still running on the same petrol or diesel engines – not using the more environmentally friendly battery power. So yes I can confirm that they have received a subsidy for going green but few use the technology. The subsidy or grant has had the effect of discounting the price of a car they would have brought anyway and is having little or no environmental effect.
In fact it’s probably a bit of a double whammy, these vehicles have consumed big chunks of the environment in order to make the batteries and cabling and extra things that going to electric cars. Things dug out of the ground and then received government subsidies.
Can you imagine telling the taxpayers that their money has been used in order to damage the environment even further. That’s effectively what is happening.
It’s made even worse because some businesses have been buying cars for employees that are just not appropriate, for example providing electric cars for those that do a lot of motorway driving where the benefit is substantially reduced.
The cost of this funding is somewhere in the region of 160000 (number of vehicles) x £3000 or close on ‘half a billion’. Half a billion pounds that could be used elsewhere.
It is just another example of government attempting to use our money in order to improve the environment however the reality is the benefit has gone directly to those that need it less. Importantly the whole issue of subsidy is it should be able to benefit the environment at a cost to the taxpayer. If it can’t be proven to do that then it shouldn’t be implemented.
Of course as taxpayers, we should fully understand that environmental issues should be an important factor when a decision is made to spend money. That is what you would expect. The realities mean that for many the tax breaks that are provided are a substantial benefit and of course paid for by those that can often ill afford it.
Sure we need to change attitudes towards the environment and how we continue to consume it. This is important, we should all have to pay for the damage caused to the environment nothing wrong with that. However it should not mean that we make a direct subsidy to the top 15% or 20% of society in order for them to be able to afford a nice car.
Perhaps putting money into better public transport or any form of mass transportation would be better than I direct payments in the form of a grant to those that want to buy relatively expensive motor vehicles.
There needs to be a very different approach towards taxation and tax reliefs the system we have is not working correctly and there is a good deal of unfairness created because of that.
The environment is the responsibility of all of us, we should all be made to pay for the damage we cause. We really do only have one planet. Once we fuck it up it’s over there is no coming back from it.