Car of choice for Hollywood movie stars and British civil servants
New research by the TaxPayers' Alliance reveals that £888,000 of taxpayers' money could have been saved if the Government Car & Despatch Service (GCDS) had bought normal cars, which cost around £8000 less each, instead of Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrids.
As the former Prime Minister Tony Blair told National Public Radio in the United States:
"The reality is, if we shut down the whole of Britain — shut it down, nothing emitted — within two years, the growth in Chinese emissions would wipe out the difference we would make."
The implications are clear: Marginal differences in a small portion of the UK's carbon emissions will not make a significant difference to global emissions which, it is feared, contribute to climate change. There is a strong argument that the £888,000 is therefore wasted.
However, if the GCDS really wants to cut emissions it could achieve more by buying regular cars and then using the £888,000 to have 74,028 trees planted. This would create a significantly larger reduction in atmospheric CO2.
Blair Gibbs, Campaign Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“Our politician’s obsession with the Toyota Prius is the worst sort of green tokenism. For the same money they could have purchased ordinary Fords with enough left over to plant more than 70,000 trees, which would have been much better for the environment and given our children a forest of trees to play among for generations to come. Instead, the government blew our money on the Hollywood option.”