MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chelsea Tractors

I wasn't particulary bothered about Gordon Brown's crackdown on the so-called 'Chelsea Tractor' brigade, in his budget speech. Many of my acquaintances have complained about them. The complaints are usually because of them cutting people up, tailgaiting e.t.c. So, coupled with the undoubted enviornmental impact and with their drivers being such inconsiderate people I came to the conclusion that taxing them harder was the right thing to do.

Over the Easter weekend I was in the Peak District, and, realised just how disastrous this policy will actually be for the countryside. Driving through the valleys, dodging sheep and tourists I found the lanes very difficult to navigate. And this is despite the fact that a lot of my practice when I was learning to drive was on the roads of Anglesey. It was also a nice sunny day, so God knows what it is like driving up there in the wind and rain or the snow.

When I came home, I visited the Countryside Alliance's website and found their budget response. Their response was:
“While we welcome the concept of environmental care which the Government is trying to address, we are extremely concerned that this measure directly discriminates against rural Britain with no significant environmental impact. As it stands, this vehicle tax ‘superband’ is merely paying lip service to the environmental lobby, and ignores the needs of the rural community, who put four-wheel drives to their proper use. An extra £45 on a tax bill will make no difference to those in urban areas who can fork out £50,000 on a leisure vehicle. “It will have a direct impact on farmers and rural workers who depend on their 4X4 vehicles to go about their daily business, and use them through necessity rather than choice. We are talking about people with battered four-wheel drives and real tractors rather than brand new immaculate Chelsea tractors."
It got me thinking about the coverage of the aftermath of the budget. I simply cannot remember this impact on the countryside being mentioned in any of the papers or on the BBC News or on SKY News. This maybe just my bad memory, but on the otherhand it wouldn't surprise me one iota if the metropolitan elite had simply ignored it.


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