The Government is hinting it will introduce a vehicle scrappage scheme in the forthcoming Budget, according to the national media.
The BBC, Reuters and several newspapers say Chancellor Alistair Darling will announce on April 22 a scheme designed to remove ‘old bangers’ from our roads and boost the new car retail market.
Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, is reported to support giving owners of old cars about £2,000 towards the cost of new, greener models. The Treasury is understood to have suggested the car industry match a taxpayer payment of £1,000.
Since most new cars are manufactured abroad (85% in 2008) it is also looking at whether to slant the scheme towards costlier models more likely to be made in the UK, said The Times.
But Chancellor Alistair Darling has refused to give a scheme the all-clear and has asked Lord Mandelson’s department to produce evidence backing claims scrappage would benefit component manufacturers and others in the supply chain.
A government insider is quoted as saying of Darling: “He’s not negative. He just wants to be convinced it can deliver.” Gordon Brown will have the final decision after consultation with Darling and Lord Mandelson.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Paul Everitt said: “I am expecting something. I’ve been slogging my guts out, so yes – I think we as an industry deserve something.”
* AM April 17 issue: the industry gives its judgement on a UK scrappage scheme.
* AM-online search term for more on this topic: scrappage