What on earth is Gordon Brown doing? Is he insane? Does he seriously think that 2.5% decrease in VAT is going to kick-start the economy? What about the cost to businesses and HMRC of having to implement this piece of headline-grabbing policy?

Mr Brown, if you want to do something beneficial for the UK economy, just listen to yourself: "that Britain becomes a low-carbon economy is now an economic priority" (). So why not make it a priority? Instead of reducing VAT, why not ring fence that 2.5% (or preferably 5%) as 'Green VAT' for investment in low carbon Britain?

This would avoid the costs associated with changing the rate and provide a war chest for investing in British companies pursuing low carbon technologies. This is something that the UK government has consistently failed to do: One remarkable example is that Rolls Royce was forced to look to Singapore for investment in its Solid Oxide Fuel Cell programme ().

He's even had to go cap-in-hand to Qatar to secure the majority proportion (£150m of £250m) for the UK's new cleantech investment fund ().

What makes this all seem even more ridiculous is that he thinks £250m is even on the scale of useful. I love this 'sick graph' from looking at investment in US renewables compared to the war in Iraq - I can't find a comparable resource for the UK, but considering we've spent £500m just upgrading Chinook helicopters (), £150m certainly seems on the low side. Obama's pledged $150bn for renewables () - whether that will be delivered of course remains to be seen.

So, come on Mr Brown, let's please generate some capital for investment in our sustainable future, instead of concentrating on one's own popularity.