Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Brown's Last Budget - Greener Than Before!

Hello There my little EEC Geeks,

UK Budget, 21st March 2007

Chancellor Gordon Brown’s budget is edging towards going green but he also couldn’t resist dramatically revealing a reduction in the basic rate of income tax from 22p to 20p from April next year – to maintain voter confidence in the Labour Government, and most of the media will concentrate on the income tax changes. However, he pledged to keep the Climate Change Levy, and announced the following initiatives designed to help the environment, and sustainability of resources:

Fuel duty up 2p per litre from October, in line with inflation (although putting VAT on airline tickets is ruled out.) .

Road tax on highest-polluting vehicles up to £300 and to £400 from April next year.

The least-polluting vehicles to have their duty cut to £35.

Public investment in science will rise from £5bn this year to £6.3bn by 2010/11.

Grants of between £300 and £4,000 for vulnerable groups and pensioners having insulation and central heating in their homes - hey folks sorry please dont be misled cos unfortunately there's no change, dont get excited its still the same Warm Front grant (£2700 standard with up to £4000 for oil fired central heating) and the Warm Front rebate for the over 60s who install new central heating and can claim £300 - which is really more like a £250 grant by the time the programme manager has taken out their "admin fee"....

Until 2012 all new zero carbon homes up to £500,000 will be exempt from stamp duty.

The landfill tax will rise by £8 each year from April 2008.

£50m for a 10-country initiative across central Africa to prevent the destruction of the second largest rain forest in the world.

£800m to the Environmental Transformation Fund, jointly run by the international development and environment secretaries.

On maintaining the Climate Change Levy, Brown said:“The Climate Change Levy, the resulting climate change agreements and the carbon trust funded by it have cut carbon emissions by a total of over 28 million tonnes.This is the reason we are already able to meet our Kyoto targets.“And in each of the next 5 years these climate change measures will cut emissions by more than 6 million tonnes, accounting by 2010 for 40 per cent of our total carbon reductions.“Because of the Climate Change Levy over 10,000 businesses have signed climate change agreements. Under the Carbon Trust funded by the levy 3,000 businesses have reduced their emissions. And enhanced capital allowances have underwritten investment in 13,000 energy-saving products.“So I reject representations to abolish the climate change levy. And I can confirm today our resolve to continue to reduce emissions including through the climate levy”.

You can access the full Budget report here - chapter 7 concentrates on the environmental issues (pdf format)

Let me know what you think about the Chancellor’s Budget: was it a missed opportunity, or good for the environment?

Making Some Good Choices Gordon but you could have done a whole lot more to help pensioners and the fuel poor and also encourage the fuel rich by investing more in the LCBP which frankly needed more funding after the first streams got allocated almost overnight - there is such a high demand it needs to be supported and certainly not underestimated!

From Your Friend The Energy Angel - now living in a gorgeous cottage in deepest Cheshire with lovely neighbours in a small village with only 200 people - more tales soon- now I know the real differences between a new modern house and an older period property and the energy efficiency issues - another log on the fire please Sean ! Oil fired central heating - how much ??!!!


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