Renewed support for scrappage incentives and private finance initiative infrastructure projects has come from the CBI, ahead of the Governments April Budget announcements. In letter to Chancellor Alistair Darling last week (18 March), CBI director general Richard Lambert said: Fiscal policy should be used where appropriate to support the shift to a low carbon economy.
He called for a scrappage scheme for cars, vans and domestic appliances to be included in the Budget and said the Government must maintain its commitment to the [PFI] partnership model. Disincentives to green investment should also be removed, he said.
Scrappage schemes, at a relatively modest exchequer cost of around £500 million, would encourage the replacement of old inefficient vehicles and domestic appliances with the latest efficient models, bringing forward consumer and business spending and helping to reduce carbon emissions, Lambert said.
Scrap merchants told MRW they would broadly welcome the inclusion of such a scheme. But one added: Im sceptical about the impact it would have. Much of the cars we buy in the UK are imported, so I dont know if it would be that great for UK car manufacturers. To really work it needs to be implemented across the whole of Europe.
The letter also said: Some £500 million for low-carbon research and development should also be injected into the Technology Strategy Board to fund large-scale projects that will help make the UK a more competitive low-carbon economy.
CBI deputy director general John Cridland added: A failure to maintain and renew the nations essential infrastructure would be short-sighted.