Pre-budget Report 2008

Pre-budget Report 2008

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This report examines, firstly, the Treasury's response to recession. The fiscal stimulus measures intended to pull the economy out of recession represent an invaluable opportunity to transform the UK into a low carbon economy. But meeting climate change and renewable energy targets will require a step-change in environmental investment. This year's Pre-Budget Report announced a Ap535m package of green fiscal stimulus measures designed to tackle economic and environmental problems simultaneously. This investment is welcome, but the scale too small- most of this funding was already committed, and will be offset by reduced spending in 2010-11. Extra funding announced for the Warm Front programme will not deliver the scale and speed of change that is needed. Programmes aimed at improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings should be the number one priority for green fiscal stimulus. It is disappointing that the wider fiscal stimulus package contains hundreds of millions of pounds for road building and widening. The Treasury should publish an assessment of the net impacts of its fiscal stimulus package on the environment. The second part of the report looks at green taxation. In real terms, revenue from green taxes has gone down slightly since 1998, while revenue from all taxation has increased by around 30 per cent. On aviation taxes, the Committee criticise the Treasury's backtracking on replacing Air Passenger Duty with a 'per plane' charge, and exhorts the Government to seek reform of the Chicago Convention so as to allow taxation of international aviation fuel. On motoring taxes, it calls for re-examination of the merits and practicalities of a 'car scrappage' scheme to pay people to trade in their existing, older cars, for newer, more efficient models.economy continues in recession, and recommend that it should review the proposed increases in the standard rate for 2010-11 to assess whether they are sufficient to encourage people to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles. ... pay people to trade in their existing, older cars, for newer, more efficient models.77 The Treasury previously told us that they had no plans to ... such as electric cars, in order to develop public support for more consistent use of fuel duty as an environmental tax.

Title:Pre-budget Report 2008
Author: Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Environmental Audit Committee
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2009

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