Well today is the first day of the new scrappage scheme, giving £2,000 to a motorist as a trade in on their car - if its over 10 years old.
I have to say that I have my reservations about this scheme. Firstly, many cars over ten years are perfectly serviceable and do not need to be scrapped. My own car is 9 years old and in good nick. I understand that the government is trying to get the public to start spending again but we need to be careful to not encourage the same credit fuelled bubble we have experienced already. Another problem is that, sadly, an awful lot of cars sold today are not built in Britain, meaning a lot of subsidy is going straight to other countries.
A major concern is that of much older "classic" cars. There is a very active classic car scene in this country, employing many people including a number in the constituency. Many classics are worth less than £2,000 unrestored but are a valuable source of unobtainable spare parts and to scrap them would be bad for this sector. It would be nice if the chancellor had borne this in mind and put an upper age limit on cars that can be scrapped under the scheme, say 25 years. The number of these cars is small and the amount they are used (and their pollution) is minimal.
So another government scheme that is initially attractive but has unintended consequences.