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Doubts raised over government plug-in vehicle spending

The £5,000 grant offered as an incentive to electric car buyers has been a waste of time, a House of Commons Transport Committee report suggests. The report, which looked into how the grant was doled out and to whom, questions whether the the money could be better spent elsewhere.

The £5,000 electric car grant could be better spent elsewhere, a new report suggests.
The £5,000 electric car grant could be better spent elsewhere, a new report suggests.

The report states that only a ‘handful’ of motorists have benefited from £11m total doled out thus far. Typically those who use the scheme are ‘affluent’ families who use the money to fund a second car for town driving rather than cash-struck motorists who are being increasingly squeezed by rising petrol and insurance costs.

“The Government must do more to show that its plug-in vehicle strategy is a good use of public money. Carbon emissions from transport must be reduced if the UK is to meet its climate change targets, but public money must be targeted on effective policies,” explained Chair of the committee, Louse Ellman. “So far, Department for Transport expenditure on plug-in cars – some £11 million – has benefited just a handful of motorists.

Responding to the claims, the government says it’s untrue that only rich families have been making use of the grant. Transport minister Norman Baker said, “It is categorically not the case that this grant is only for rich families wanting a second car – around 75% of purchases made under the plug-in car grants have been by businesses wanting to reduce the carbon emissions and running costs of their fleets rather than by individuals wanting a subsidised second car.”

He added: “The UK automotive sector is worth more than £10.4 billion to the economy and we make no apology for supporting the take-up of plug-in vehicles which supports the creation of hi-tech jobs here in the UK. We will respond in detail to the report’s recommendations in due course.”

Source: The Independent 

Image: Flickr



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