Chancellor Gordon Brown today pledged £550M to fund research into renewables technology.
In what was as predicted a green pre-budget report, he also cut the tax on biofuels from 53p to 8p and promised to consider increasing the rate by which Landfill Tax rises each year.The Chancellor has also accepted the recommendations of the Barker review on planning and the Eddington transport study that Britain's planning laws must be overhauled to improve the delivery of key infrastructure.This includes the creation of an independent Planning Commission made up of professionals from a range of fields, rather than councillors or politicians, that will approve projects deemed of national strategic importance. He told Parliament: 'Tackling climate change is an opportunity for Britain to create thousands of new jobs. And our new institute to investigate new environmental technologies will start with a budget of £550M and I can also confirm a second enterprise capital fund focused on innovative green technologies. 'The theme of both the Eddington Review on transport and the Barker Review on planning flexibility is that we must systematically modernise and improve Britain's road, rail, housing and civic infrastructure, run down in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, by investing in a sustainable infrastructure that will contribute to the future prosperity of the country.'And just as we made monetary policy independent of government, then financial services policy, then competition policy and much of industry policy, it is time to adopt the same approach for planning. We will now consult on the proposal that in future, while ministers set policy guidelines, strategic decisions on location and planning permission for major infrastructure projects will be made outside of day to day political control and instead by an independent planning body.'