Saturday, 1 January 2000

Pre-Budget Update

Gordon Brown's pre-budget statement was “not as bad as it could have been, but not as good as it should have been”.

WELCOME: (all proposed by FOE)
  • The Chancellor is sticking to the Climate Change Levy, necessary for Britain to meet its obligations under the Kyoto agreement. He has exempted Combined Heat and Power schemes and renewable energy from the Levy.
  • He has increased grants available from the Levy for energy efficiency schemes from £50 million to £150 million
  • He has set up a transport fund to spend above-inflation proceeds of road fuel duty

UNWELCOME
  • He has promised a large (80%) discount from the Levy for heavy energy users which sign “energy efficiency agreements”
  • He has reduced the total planned tax take from the Levy from £1.7 billion a year to £1 billion
  • He has abandoned his commitment to a 6% “escalator” for road fuel duty
  • He has said that the planning system is to be reformed “to encourage competition”