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Tories Talk Green But Act Dirty

December 7, 2006 6:01 PM

The Liberal Democrats have released a dossier showing that the Tories may have started to talk green, but are continuing to act dirty.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Chris Huhne MP said:

"The Tories have been woefully irresponsible - they talk green but act dirty. David Cameron drives a car that emits more carbon than all 10 of the best-selling cars in Britain. It appears that the real Tory motto is do what we say, not what we do.

"The Tories are a shambles on green taxes. George Osborne says he favours green taxes, but the special commission he set up to look at taxes did not come up with a single plan for green taxation.

"This proves that the Tories are all mouth and no trousers on the environment. The voters are waking up to the fact that the Tories have no proposals for tackling climate change, merely hot air and claptrap."

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The Conservatives environmental failings are as follows:

  • David Cameron switched to a supposedly green hybrid Lexus GS, but it is so big that it is more polluting than the 10 best selling models in the UK.
  • The Conservatives were silent or critical during the debate on the recent Finance Bill on fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, climate change levy, land fill tax and aggregates levy. Their year long tax commission did not come up with a single proposal for David Cameron on green taxes, stating that this was "beyond their remit". Shadow Chancellor George Osborne clearly didn't think it was important enough to include in their remit, and this 'expert' Tory group decided to ignore it anyway. The Tories have backed green taxes... but spelt out none of the detail [on green taxes]." Nick Robinson 30 Oct 06, BBC.
  • Cameron avoided the tricky issue of nuclear power by shunting the decision off to his policy commissions, which is not due to report until 2007. And Scottish Tories voted in May for the building of new nuclear power stations north of the border.
  • Conservatives shadow ministers in the Lords voted against measures in the Company Law Reform Bill requiring companies to give greater regard to the environment.
  • In March, Tory backbenchers attempted to kill off the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill by filibustering - talking it out of time.
  • In his first speech as party leader, David Cameron said: "I want to build more roads, we need a concerted programme of road building."
  • Half the Tory party, including David Cameron, have snubbed environmental motions calling on the Government to tackle climate change.
  • Tory Euro MP Caroline Jackson admitted: "I think from the point of view of the Conservative party pursuing the green line it is all talk and no action at the moment." Yet European action is key to tackling global climate change, as it was with Kyoto.
  • Tories on the London Assembly and in Richmond-on-Thames attacked plans to impose higher parking fees on gas-guzzling cars.
  • Penny Hedgeland, a councillor in Mole Valley, Surrey, quit the Tory party last month, saying: "Mr Cameron does not seem to be following up his rather vague aspirations with any solid policies."