Scotland slow to spend on green cars

Dec. 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM
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GLASGOW, Scotland, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the Scottish Conservative Party called on local governments to redeploy unspent funds earmarked for green energy initiatives.

"What is the point in giving councils money to be spent on environmental initiatives which are clearly not a priority for them? What's worse, this $3.22 million of unspent cash could have been used far more wisely in services people actually need and care about," said spokesman Alex Johnstone.

"Instead, we have this vast sum gathering dust while people's cars are being damaged by potholed roads, teacher-pupils ratios are widening and council care workers are under even more pressure to meet demands," he said.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said in response local government should be applauded for not rushing to spend, but studying the issue first, The Scotsman reported Saturday.

"The move to green transport cannot happen instantly and what you are seeing is councils showing proper thought-through financial planning and the use of money in appropriate stages," the CSLA said.

A spokesman for the Scottish National Party said the government "has an ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and the uptake of electric vehicles will be a vital part of achieving this."

"Electric vehicles not only benefit the environment, they can also mean much cheaper running costs for drivers and fantastic opportunities for the numerous Scottish firms already working in the sector, which also leads to an improved jobs market and obvious benefits for the wider economy," the spokesman said.

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