Speculation - particularly in the national media - that the company car was being singled out as a March 17 Budget target of Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown's has been rampant. But Strang told a Financial Times London Motor Conference: 'There are a lot of smaller useful things we can do which will enable us to move in a different direction, away from car dependency.'
That will see local authorities being given powers to introduce congestion charging and the taxation of workplace parking, with the revenue raised being ring-fenced for local authorities to improve public transport. Strang said the vital role of the company car for businesses would be taken into account by the Chancellor as part of the Government's commitment to job creation and a strong economy. If the Treasury does have fiscal changes afoot for the company car, these will appear in the Budget in March as a pre-cursor to the goals laid out in the white paper.