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Government extends scrappage scheme
The business secretary, Lord Mandelson, has announced that the car scrappage scheme will be extended.
Delivering the news in his speech to the Labour Party conference, Lord Mandelson said that the original funding for 300,000 cars and small vans would be extended to cover a further 100,000 vehicles.
The Government had been under pressure to extend the scheme, with various industry bodies warning that abandoning it too early could undermine any economic recovery in the sector. Yesterday, EEF - which works with the manufacturing, engineering and technology industries - warned that failure to continue with the scheme beyond its planned February cut-off date could 'pull the rug' from under the car-making sector.
And earlier this month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) urged the business secretary to extend the funding.
Lord Mandelson said that today's extension was "not a blank cheque" to manufacturers, but added that his department had listened to their concerns.
"The sector has been strongly affected by the recession, but the scrappage scheme has delivered a boost to manufacturers and the supply chain."
Commenting, SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "Lord Mandelson's announcement of an extension to the car scrappage scheme is an extremely important decision that will inspire consumer and business confidence.
"It will help to stimulate demand, giving more consumers access to it, and create a bridge to a period when economic growth is strengthened and more sustainable."