Car companies call on govt to put fresh cash into the scheme to safeguard UK jobs.
Car makers and retailers body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has called for the car scrappage scheme to run until at least February 2010. The SMMT says the scheme, which launched in May, has boosted consumer spending and helped secure car-factory jobs.
Originally car scrappage was due to last until next year – if the £300m that the Government put into the scheme lasted that long. But the scheme, which gives owners of cars at least 10 years old a £2000 discount each if they trade for a new car, has already seen an extra 100,000+ cars registered and there are a further 100,000 on order. That means that the Government cash is pretty much used up and, as a result, the scheme is expected to close within a few weeks.
The car industry is worried that next year, when VAT returns to 17.5% from the current 15%, and additional first-year road tax charges come in for high-polluting vehicles, car sales will once again falter.
But Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has firmly said he ds not intend to extend the scheme past its current deadline.