In an extraordinary waste of taxpayers’ money, the Guardian reveals this morning that Boris is to pay Porsche £400,000 as he cancels the £25 CO2 Charge his predecessor had planned, which the car company had intended to challenge in the courts.

I knew today was the day when he would be announcing the abandonment of the CO2 Charge when last night I received a news release from Ken Livingstone embargoed ’til 0.01 today. Aside from the obvious environmental criticisms, this is a highlight:

The claim that £10m has been “saved” by scrapping the CO2 charge is entirely false – in reality London will lose £30-£60m expected annual revenue from the scheme.

I have heard Boris describe savings from the abandonment of the scheme before, and I just can’t understand how anyone can suggest that scrapping a revenue-raising scheme could possibly save money in the long term. I think Boris is focusing on the set-up costs and ignoring the ongoing revenue, but this is utterly ridiculous – as is paying nearly half a million pounds to one of the richest car companies in the world.

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18 Responses to Value for money? Boris gives Porsche £400,000

  1. pastyface says:

    Just so we don’t forget the tories are the party of the rich whatever else they may claim

  2. Tory Troll says:

    This is turning into a farce now. How much more money can our cost-cutting Mayor waste in his first year? He’s certainly got off to one hell of a start.

  3. pastyface says:

    reading the BBC story I saw that the borough of Kensington and Chelsea were supporting Porsche in their court action. What on earth is going on?

  4. Wireman says:

    Are charities such as Skidz not the kind of thing that The Mail et al used to deride as “hooligans go-karting on the rates”?

  5. BritSwedeGuy says:

    Boris’s reign might just act as a timely reminder of what Tories in power are really like – Nu Labor appear almost vaguely competent in comparison.

  6. Rob says:

    I suppose the alternate version of this story is: “Mayor delivers on key election promise not to implement increase in congestion charge”?

  7. Tory Troll says:

    I wasn’t aware Boris had a manifesto pledge to pay off Porsche.

    Or one to set a legal precedent where any company feels they can challenge a policy if it effects their profit margin.

    But there you go. He surprises us every day.

  8. Tom says:

    Rob, while it might be a bit silly to fight Porsche for a policy you don’t (currently) want to implement, caving in and forking out does set a precedent that seems to allow corporations to edit democracy.

    If he’d negotatiated a deal to drop the case with no cash changing hands, that would have been fine by me. Forking out £400k without a murmur does (again) suggest that appearing to be pro-motorist is more important than appearing green or interested in progressive transport policies. But we sorta knew that.

  9. Rob says:

    So is it your contention, Tory Troll, that the Mayor should have reneged on his election promise in order to avoid paying Porsche the money awarded by the High Court, which in turn has been passed onto a charity?

  10. Rob says:

    Tom – I accept your point that a deal with no cash changing hands would be preferential, but I’m not sure how much room there would have been to negotiate such a settlement as the Mayor’s position was the same as Porsche were challenging for so I don’t think he had much to offer, but I am not a lawyer.

  11. Chunters says:

    Firstly when a court tells you to do something, you do it.

    Secondly it was Ken who started it so we should blame him not Boris for the loss of the money.

  12. Tory Troll says:

    I don’t want to repeat myself Rob but I’m afraid I will have to. Dropping the £25 charge was in the manifesto. Caving into the legal challenge was not. There is no reason why he could have done one without the other, especially as it sets such a dangerous precedent. As ever though, I doubt you will agree.

  13. Rob says:

    “There is no reason why he could have done one without the other…. I doubt you will agree”

    To be honest, I don’t have the legal knowledge to either agree or disagree with the certainty on this matter that you display. I’m not familiar enough with judicial review case history to know if it’s possible for a defendant to drop a contested policy without a verdict being awarded in the claimant’s favour.

    Presumably TFL’s legal department would have involved in this, and I have no reason to doubt their abilities, but if your expertise in this field tells you that there is “no reason why he could have done one without the other”, then maybe you are right.

  14. Tory Troll says:

    I’m glad you bow to my all superior knowledge once again ;)

  15. Rob says:

    He he!

  16. […] money, Boris has already set aside nearly £1m in total for his “transition team” and Porsche. I assume he may also need to pick up the shortfall in the Rise bill caused by the unions […]

  17. […] cash down the drain into an unnecessary (and seemingly poorly responded-to) bus competition, lavishing dosh on Porsche, and so forth, it’s not exactly out of line with the rest of Boris’s ‘value for money’ […]

  18. […] life for those on two wheels if it risks causing the slightest inconvenience to those on four (especially if all four receive torque from the engine […]

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