It's the economy, stupid; that's the message that Chancellor Darling was delivering as his much anticipated "green" budget did not materialize the way that many had hoped. There was great anticipation that this would be a budget with a big green focus but as the Friends of the Earth Director said: ""The Chancellor promised to put sustainability at the heart of today's announcement, but he has merely tinkered in the margins. Mr Darling should have used this Budget to tackle climate change - the biggest challenge the world faces - by making it cheaper and easier for people to go green... We urgently need real political leadership on this issue."
He hit the most polluting new cars such as all models of Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne big time. As of 2009, owners will pay a tax of £440 ($900) a year whilst cars that emit less than 150g of carbon dioxide per kilometre - such as the Toyota Prius and Mini - will pay a reduced rate. Buyers of the greenest vehicles will pay no tax in the first year of ownership.
There will be no increase in fuel duty. As for air planes: from 2009 onwards, airlines will pay a new duty payable per air plane, rather than by the passenger.
Shoppers will pay for carrier bags and if the retailers don't voluntarily impose the charges the government will. The money raised by the charge will be donated to charity. Twenty six million £ will be allocated to a Green Homes Service to reduce carbon output. All new office buildings must be carbon neutral by 2019. :: Financial Times