Government green policy subsidising the wealthy

By Charles Maggs

The government is spending millions on helping the wealthy buy electric ‘plug-in’ cars as a second motor.

So far the government has spent £11 million on infrastructure for plug-in cars, leading Louise Ellman, chair of the transport select committee, to suggest the policy is only helping a few richer motorists.

“We were warned of the risk that the government is subsidising second cars for affluent households; currently plug-in cars are mostly being purchased as second cars for town driving,” she said.

Ellman also questioned whether the policy was effective from an environmental perspective.

“The government must do more to show that its plug-in vehicle strategy is a good use of public money," she said.

"Carbon emissions from transport must be reduced if the UK is to meet its climate change targets, but public money must be targeted on effective policies.”

Plug-in cars are often around 50% more expensive than their petrol or diesel alternatives.

She suggested that the implementation of charge points had been poorly followed through as there is no register of all the tax payer funded stations.

The committee also recommended setting targets for the number of plug-in cars the Department of Transport wants to see on the road.