Another ineffective budget

Gordon Brown is the master in making a ‘nothing’ budget sound like a triumph. He tinkers around the edges for cheap headlines while ignoring real inequalities. He says there is money to spend but does nothing for Britain’s beleagured pensioners who have been hung out to dry by Labour.
On the environment, once again he gives the appearance of doing the right thing yet the measures are so small as to be virtually ineffective. Take the £210 Road Fund Licence for the top 1% of polluting cars. The increase that these drivers will be paying doesn’t even equate to an extra tankful of fuel for these urban behemoths. I doubt it is enough to discourage even one person from buying one.
I recently challenged chelsea tractor owners to justify their purchases to me. I only had one defence from an admitted owner, and that was on the grounds of safety. I have children, and understand the urge to keep them safe, so I did a little research on SUVs and safety. Yes, it’s quite true that the occupants of the large, high 4×4 come off better in an accident, but only at the expense of the worse damage you will inflict on the normal vehicle you run into. Add to that the finding that the higher front means you are more likely to cause head and chest injuries to any child who runs out in front of you, and it becomes clear that your safety comes at the expense of the safety of others.
The public highway is payed for and maintained for the benefit of all road users, and therefore the government has a duty to encourage responsible use of it. Driving around our urban and suburban streets in large, inappropriate vehicles is both irresponsible and selfish. On both environment and safety grounds, we must put pressure on the motor industry to promote more responsible marketing of vehicles to the public. A few pounds extra in car tax is not enough.

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