Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Budget, gas-guzzlers, and photos of Clee Hills, SVR etc.

Ah so it's the Budget today, the television was full of talking heads about what the Chancellor is expected to do. Rise in tax on cigarettes and alcohol, rise in vehicle tax, more money for families etc. Everyone was debating whether he should tax 'gas-guzzlers', people who drive 4x4's for no good reason, how he should stop concentrating of families and look at pensioners.

Okay stop. Check the first sentence the word you're looking at is "expected", until it's delivered we don't know what he might do. There are two reasons for debate 1- when you have a ability to alter a decision about to be made, and 2- when you can alter a decision that has been made.

"You know I was going to increase vehicle tax , but after the points raised on GMTV this morning I've changed my mind. Can we re-write the entire budget?"

Don't think so. Of course news has to be topical, little point having people talking about how the Chancellor should do this or do that a month or two before the Budget; who cares? Still it's amusing watching people get hot under the collar about a topic they can only speculate about and have no chance of altering. Oh and no doubt claim victory for after the fact.

Saying that though the big point that no-one seems to be highlighting is that this huge tax increase isn't for 'gas-guzzlers', that would be an increase in fuel duty, nor 4x4's, that'd be a bit too specific; it's an increase for higher polluting cars. Those that emit over 225 g/km of CO2 and it only affects those cars that were registered last April. Before anyone whines that they've just bought a new car the vehicle tax band G (225+) was introduced in last year's Budget. All he may be doing is increasing the cost for that band. For those with much older cars the Co2 bands still only apply to vehicles registered after 1 March 2001, their bills are still based on engine cubic capacity and that's unlikely to change.

The long and short of it is, people should look at the emission rating of for their new purchase, if it's in the G band don't buy it. Manufacturers of higher polluting cars will quickly make them cleaner if people stop buying them; and that's the point of the new band and the possible increase in cost.

Well I said I'd post photos and I'm just this moment uploaded to my Flickr account the ones my parents took from Clee Hill, the Severn Valley Railway ones should be next (yep just uploading now), followed by some from around town. Hopefully this afternoon or tomorrow I'll post the ones from Tenbury.