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back to article Darling budget fails to paint Brown government green

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling outlined several green-pleasing moves in today's budget, but postponed a fuel-duty increase which had been strongly supported by environmental campaigners. Seeking to present the Brown government in as eco-friendly a light as possible, Darling said he would "ensure the UK continues to …

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carbon trading

Yet another BS financial derivative (that the traders in teh city would be proud of) that is pretty meaningless and certainly not helping the environment.

Extra benefit of spin to this, but lets not be fooled by this rubbish, producing CO2 is either happening or its not. If it needs to be reduced then it needs to be reduced, not traded or sold.

I am personally not convinced on all this stuff as the government has stepped in and taken away integrity from this issue by using it as a political point scorer and tax excuse rather than taking it seriously.

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Pirate

Charity? P'yehright....

"If "sufficient progress" is not made by the end of this year, a charge on plastic bags will be levied. The money will go to "environmental charities", presumably including organisations such as the Greenpeace Environmental Trust. "

Or perhaps organisations such as MPExpenseFund.org, MPPayRise.org or MinisterAsACompanyDirector.org....

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Paris Hilton

Disappointed

There are going to be an awful lot of people who voted Labour wish they hadn't when they come to draw their pensions. When Robert Maxwell plundered pension funds he was rightly condemned. However under the current regime they have done far more damage, and got re-elected for doing so.

Paris because I will need something to take my anger out on in my old age.

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Boffin

'Zero Carbon' Buildings

Meanwhile, back in the REAL world.....

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Stop

1m "Envirojobs"?

are those one step up from a "McJob", or one step down?

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Scots Wha Hae

In this case they hae sent me to sleep.

Thanks for the summary as I would not have not happened while he droned on.

What a BOF.

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Labours attempts at a Green budget

/Begin Rant

Labours attempts at a green budget means they now have no chance of my vote at the next election.

This green rubbish is just an excuse to rake in more taxes and to give it to hippies.

When did the Greens suddenly get enough influence to basically dictate what goes on in our country?

I hate the green agenda which is based on absolutely bugger all scientific facts.

/End Rant

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Oh Lordy!

"....have a million British jobs generated in 'environmental industries' over the next 20 years...."

In other words, another million non-jobs to be supported by the ever-dwindling number of people in the UK who actually produce something useful within their jobs - and I write this as someone who is employed in a so-called 'environmental industry' as well!

Ah well, suppose that'll mean green taxes climbing ever-higher to pay our wages! I'd much rather be in a 'proper' job like what I used to have, but there are not that many of them around these days....[:(]

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Disappointed

I bet Paris could beat you up.

(Er, no threats of domestic violence, please, even against figurative future versions of celebrities.)

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The greenies...

need to keep the hell out of my way. I'm all for green measures, but I work 25miles away from where I live. If I got the earliest train at around 6, I would get into the station nearest my work at 9, half an hour after I am supposed to start. Buses are no good either. This means I have no choice but to drive to work.

Increasing fuel duty just hurts my wallet, nothing else. It wont encourage me to use 'green' alternatives because THERE ARE NONE!

I was quite looking forward to April because, although I think it is an imorral idea to change the tax system so that the low-paid get taxed more, I would be coming out with a signficant amount more on my bottom line. Working it out, I loose that AND my "cost of living" pay rise this year in the budget. Which means that, even before taking into account that gas/electric/shopping/fuel bills have already sky-rocketted this year, I am worse off after this budget by a LONG shot this year than I was last year.

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Tim

@Sarah

I hope that Andrew merely meant that PH could provide him with some stress relief in his grumpy old age. I think that everyone here knows that domestic violence is only acceptable in Family Guy.

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Anonymous Coward

fuel tarrifs

Have nothing to do with making people green and everything to do with money for the coffers only envirotards would think otherwise.

As a poor unfortunate who doesn't drive I get to enjoy Britains high quality public transport network, 1 bus not turning up a week, every bus at least 10 minutes late, large chunks of rail and underground network down over weekends and bank holidays, overcharging (£24 to get from MK to St Albans return, £22 one way) that trip takes about 2 hours. A trip that takes 5 minutes by car (my home to my office) takes an hour by bus and that's if the bus bothers to show up. The trip to st Albans about 50 minutes even with constant road works. O and that bus trip is a £1 a shot, £2 a day, £10 a week. Don't go between 8 and 9 becouse you'll have the joy of standing up with a bunch of stinking teens.

Basically, public transport is hell in this country. How I long for the clean train stations of foreign parts.

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Paris Hilton

The good thing

For the first time in years a chancellor agrees to pay his own taxes too and increases the tax on all booze and not just all booze except what he drinks.

Paris because with any luck she can beat them all up.

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Income support

If fuel taxes go any higher, I'll not be able to afford to run my car to get to my piss-poor paying job 26 miles from home. So I guess I'll have to stay home and claim benefit?!

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Unhappy

@Doctor Mouse

Although income tax has changed by a slight of hand you will pay much more National Insurance.

The upper rate goes from £645 to £720 so if you earn £720 per week or more you pay £429 more in National Insurance from April 08.

So you save £80 on the change in income tax but lose £420 in NI.

Its all in the spin.

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Flame

As per usual

We get fucked in the arse with every budget, everything we want that makes life bearable goes up in price and they do nothing about making sure people get higher wages out of the profiteering bastards that run the companies.

Power companies should be made to charge a flat rate, fuck competition, I want cheap stuff.

And balls to the environment, suddenly it's the main thing, why didn't they do something about it 50 years ago, when it might have actually mattered.

The world is done for, this country's shit.

/rant

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@Jeremy

>but lets not be fooled by this rubbish, producing CO2 is either happening or its not

Yeah, right on. Stop all CO2 production NOW!

Would all readers please stop breathing, or at least, stop exhaling. Thank-you.

The fire because Jeremy wouldn't want us to use CO2 fire extinguishers either.

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@ Sarah

Can I punch her if I see her in the street seeing as it won't be domestic?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Fancy that

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/about/greenpeace-environmental-trust

"The Greenpeace Environmental Trust was founded in 1982 with the objective of furthering public understanding in world ecology and the natural environment."

Has a tax ever gone directly into a lobby group's marketing budget before?

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What Dr. Mouse Said

There is no point saying "making people pay more for tax will force them off the roads" because it won't. No government has invested in any kind of transport infrastructure aside from roads in my lifetime. How the hell are we supposed to get anywhere if they keep ramping up fuel prices?

It basically means that poor people aren't allowed to live in the country.

And in spite of this the vile degenerate scum that make up our government are still using bare faced lies as they try to privatise the NHS through the back door.

It's not that I hate the environment ( like most of the Clarkson-wannabes that appear to make the core Reg posters seem to ) I even live in it, but this isn't an environmental budget, it is an increasing the divide between rich and poor budget. It's a "here is a problem and - bad news! - we have no solution to offer so why not give us all your money?" budget.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ Sarah

Quiet you.

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Why?

Should we 'ensure the UK continues to lead the climate change agenda internationally' when the UK only produces 2% of the total CO2 output?

Especially as that's 2% of the 3% humans make of the 0.04% that's currently in the air.

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Waste of time

Green groups will only be satisfied when poor people are banned from going on holiday abroad and there are random stops and searches by the highest law enforcement authority in the country - the Fashion Police - to make sure everyone's shopping bags meet The Guardian's standards (those with particularly pretentious bags, e.g. "I Am Not A Plastic Bag", will be given gold stars, those with vulgar plastic bags will be Tasered with 900,000 solar-powered volts.)

And a bureaucracy setting up a free market (i.e. this carbon trading nonsense) is like a bat designing an art gallery.

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Pirate

Non Domiciles

I enjoyed the BBC coverage from the City where they asked what sounded like South African guys about the Non Domicile stuff.

Oh my heart bled for the poor souls, Oh we are so hard done by they cried, though to be fair they couldnt seem to stretch to a tie with their expensive handmade shirts.

So you say you are off... ok no problem, let me pack your bags for you.

Cant think talking on a phone and pressing a few buttons is a difficult job and couldnt be done by someone else...

On the green front, why put money into Greenpeace.. they should direct it to an armada for Sea Shepherd at least with them you see a return on your investment! Sell nice pirate style shirts as well :)

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energy is far too cheap.

Assuming global warming is the threat we are told it is, then we need to:

- phase out petrol cars in the next ten years

- phase out fossil-fuel generated electric power in the next ten years.

- return to per capita energy usage levels of the year 1900 or so in the next ten years.

Will any of this happen?

Not a chance.

Why?

As these comments show, you'd all rather whine about a few pence on fuel than actually face up to the fact that your entire lifestyle needs to change. Dear sweet lord, it's more than a little pathetic.

Just watch how quickly you'd insulate your home if the heating cost £20 an hour to run. It's entirely possible to insulate most houses so well that you could heat a room with a couple of candles.

Cars are only around 3-4% efficient, which is risible. If petrol were £20 a gallon, just how many fat 4x4s would you see? Petrol in the UK costs several times what it costs in the US, and our cars are several times more fuel effiicient. Funny that.

It's disgusting how sloppy we are in our use of energy.

The human race doesn't have the guts or the intelligence to avoid the oncoming train wreck.

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Heart

@ @ Sarah

Sarah I think I like you. Are you fit as well as witty?

Or maybe you're a bloke posting under a girl's name in order to stand out ... </shudder>

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Rob
Unhappy

two questions for the regerati....

One: On energy prices, did I imagine this or did the government say to the energy companies "You're ripping off your customers and that's illegal, but if you give us a cut of the proceeds of your crime then we'll turn a blind eye to it."?

Two: What's the difference between buying carbon credits from Al Gore, today and buying a Papal Indulgence from the Borjas a few hundred years ago. Surely in both cases you're giving money to a bunch of dodgy characters in exchange for being let off a "sin", the existence of which nobody has ever produced any credible scientific evidence for.

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RE: 'energy is too cheap'

"a few pence on fuel" actually means pounds per week and tens to hundreds of pounds per year, so yes, I'm complaining. You also seem to be ignorant of the fact that fuel prices have been rising several pence per month all of their own accord; 18% in the past year.

If energy prices rise so much as to cause the 'lifestyle change' you so crave, the economy would be in tatters. No economy means no food on the table, no food generally results in mass starvation.

It would appear that the best solution to our woes would be obtaining energy from better sources- yet every attempt at this is scuppered by different branches of the green movement. Wind turbines on windy hills? NO!, they would kill precious birds and result in unsightly power lines across Scotland. Tidal power? NO!, it would disturb some delicate mud-flat ecosystem somewhere. Nuclear power? GOD NO!, an especially badly designed and run station in the Ukraine caught fire once, which obviously means that every other nuclear station will too.

The proposed solution? Let's all sit at home in dimly-lit, cold rooms, reading the Guardian and eating rabbit droppings, content with the fact that we have possibly averted a whole 20cm rise in sea levels.

I do indeed agree that burning oil in innumerable engines isn't the best idea, but heaping tax upon tax onto people when they have no realistic alternative to what they're doing is cretinous in the extreme.

If we are genuinely concerned about global warming, then we should be pushing through every alternative power source we can devise; dam the estuaries, pepper every remote hilltop with turbines, coat the entire Sahara with solar panels and then provide REAL alternatives to combustion-powered transport. That does NOT mean a colourful leaflet advising people to get the (diesel) bus; it means building electric cars that people actually want, bringing back trolleybuses; hell, introducing trolley-LORRIES (it can't be that hard to put cables over the major motorways).

Putting 2p on a litre of petrol and introducing a pathetic levy on plastic bags achieves nothing other than slowly crippling the economy, giving yet more money to the likes of China (who pollute in every way FAR more than we do per product produced) whilst smugly basking in a fog of "I cycle around and use cotton shopping bags, it doesn't affect me".

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Gates Horns

@ Breakfast

"No government has invested in any kind of transport infrastructure aside from roads in my lifetime."

What about the Jubilee line extension, the DLR, the Channel Tunnel, or Channel Tunnel Rail link - all of which were started before this lot of useless sleazebags got into power with their "10 years to transform the railways" b0llocks?

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Paris Hilton

@ Frank "energy is far to cheap" the Fuckwit

Dear Frankie boy.

Can I presume from your tone that you are one of those rabid, lentil-munching, tree-hugging hippy, enviro-nazi types that would have us turn back the clock to the fucking middle ages, riding around on horseback and burning the dung for fuel. (You'd probably tax the fuck out of that too!)

FYI, our house has:

Cavity Wall Insulation.

Loft Insulation.

Is fully Double Glazed.

Your suggestion that I should now be able to , as you put it "heat a room with a couple of candles" is complete and utter SHITE!

If YOU wish to live in the aforementioned conditions, fine, no-one is going to stop YOU.

But for the rest of us, for whom modern life is a reality we have to deal with on a daily basis, kindly stop trying to inflict YOUR idea of heaven on US, who view it as possibly the ultimate in HELL.

PH, as she clearly has more brains than YOU!!

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2p a litre

Given that petrol only costs 20-30p a litre or so, and the rest is pretty much tax - this 2p tax is 6 - 10% - not the sub 2% most people imagine!

http://www.petrolprices.com/price-of-petrol.html

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"our lifestyle needs to change"

This sentence always, without exception, translates as "Everyone else needs to change their lifestyle to mine, regardless of differing circumstances (income, distance from work, etc) or whether they have the same cognitive biases I do."

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An alternative for Dr Mouse

"I'm all for green measures, but I work 25miles away from where I live. If I got the earliest train at around 6, I would get into the station nearest my work at 9, half an hour after I am supposed to start. Buses are no good either. This means I have no choice but to drive to work."

Or you could move house, or get a job closer to home, or work over the internet, Einstein.

Cities would be fine places to live if we banned cars.

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@An alternative for Dr Mouse

And you can afford to keep selling/purchasing a house each time you need to change your job? I think not. Those of us already on the housing ladder cannot afford to keep moving just for work!

I live in a reasonable sized town, but there's only piss-poor warehouse work. If you want high-tech and high wages, it's on the train to London or the car to Cambridge. I cannot afford to live close to work and I have no job security, so I am not prepared to move!

We would all like high-paid jobs on our doorstep, but we live in the real world and cannot dictate where companies set-up shop.

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@ Mark Splinter

No, cities would be fine places to live if we banned twats like you.

Many (most?) people have mortgages, kids in school, friends etc etc that mean they can't move house very easily. Also for most people jobs closer to home would quite probably be lower skilled, and for far less pay.

I once did exactly what you suggest- I moved to within 10 minutes walk of my work, and walked there every day for some time. What happened?- my workplace moved away, so I'm driving again.

Take your head out of your own arse and look at the real world once in a while.

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energy is far too cheap.

I'm just as bad as everyone else. I use far too much energy. I'm a programmer not a lentil muncher. I drive. I use fossil energy by the tonne.

The difference between you an' me is that I realise just how screwed we are and recognise the need to change.

People don't like change as your comments so amply demonstrate

I also recognise that the only way to get people to change is to make so painful not to change that they have to.

Sad fact of life.

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@ Mark Splinter

The average cost to move house is £9500 according to Propertyfinder research.

That's not the house price thats Estate Agents, Stamp Tax, Removal Fees and Legal Fees. It is a 2007 figure and so excludes HIP's (or jobs for the administrators as they are more commonly known).

So you would move house every time you changed jobs would you at nearly £10k a time.

If you worked down the mine or in the pit for a lifetime it works, if not it doesn't.

Please take you head out of your own arse for 5 minutes and think about the world outside Mark Splinter's green a fluffy land.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark Splinter

Normally I would start with a polite comment but not this time. Mark you're a stupid fuck of a troll.

"Or you could move house,"

Yes 'cos we can all afford to do that each time can't we. The government would love the increase in their stamp duty revenue. And the conveyancer's would love it too.

"or get a job closer to home"

I suppose you believe the BS fed to you by monster, totaljobs et al. Good jobs that match your skillset are becoming increasingly hard to come by. So unless you want to work in a call centre or as a shop assistant or serving up burgers, sod off.

"or work over the internet, Einstein."

Can I be bothered to respond to this? Yes, I can. Not much of a teamworker then are you? Ever worked on projects that require significant integration of software and hardware? No?

"Cities would be fine places to live if we banned cars."

And antisocial yobs, and pack-em-in run down estates, and drug/crime lords. The list goes on. ITYF, cars are actually considerably lower on the list than sorting out the rest of the shitty mess. Cities aren't some glorious utopian hive mind just waiting to be born.

/count to ten and relax

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Stop

@ frank

So, if "energy is far to cheap", your proposal is to tax it to the fucking hilt, forcing people to use less of it (or so you think).

Reality.

Those of the general population who are at the financial bottom of society get faced with a stark choice then, particularly in winter. Starve or Freeze?

The poorest members of our society are already facing that choice with ever increasing fuel & food bills (nice two-edge sword there), so your proposal is to tax them even further? ("I also recognise that the only way to get people to change is to make so painful not to change that they have to."). Just how much 'pain' is enough, Frank?

Starvation? Hypothermia? DEATH??

Oh, by the way,your statement "The difference between you an' me is that I realise just how screwed we are and recognise the need to change.", presumes that my opinion on that is different from yours, WRONG!

We DO WASTE ENERGY. We DO need to do something about it. But taxation IS NOT the answer. Neither is trying to heat a room with two fucking candles. We need REAL WORLD solutions. I don't think "we're screwed" though, not quite. But if we go YOUR route, there'll be a shitload of people who WILL BE!

We didn't get into this overnight, we won't get out of it overnight either.

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Rob
Unhappy

Words fail me

Well no, they don't actually, but it seems that my suggested course of action for one of the crypto-fascist greenie posters here must have been deemed a little (a lot?) too extreme for publication.

He's still allowed to say that the rest of us must coerced by the application of pain (tortured?), though...

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Alien

Taxes @ Andrew Orlowski

Tax money for Greenpeace? They say at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/about "Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments.." - as if any governments would offer in the first place!

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