How would you feel if your tax dollars were going to fund a £5,000 discount on a Porsche for the wealthy? UK citizens will now be able to receive a break on their £89,900 Panamera S E-Hybrid thanks to decision by the Department for Transport. The subsidy, which was introduced in 2011 and designed to give incentives to purchase low-emission vehicles, now includes the luxury car alongside much more affordable models.

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As The Guardian reports, most of the other plug-ins covered under the government program range from the Nissan Leaf at £21,000 to the BMW i3 at 35,000 before deduction. The price-tag for the costly Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid blows most of these cars out of the water at nearly £90,000. Capable of reaching 60mph in only 5.5 seconds, the vehicle is clearly engineered for more than just an efficient daily commute. The Porsche emits 71 grams of CO2/km, as compared to the standard Panamera at 239g/km. Most other combustion engine cars on the market weigh in at 133.1g/km.

“The grant is not designed to incentivise particular models, it is to incentivise the development and roll out of emerging low carbon technologies which we expect to become mainstream in coming decades. Making the grant available in this instance meets that goal, as it would with any other ultra-low carbon vehicle,” a spokesman from the Department for Transport told the The Guardian.

However, if there is substantial money available, it would make more sense to further subsidize cars that are within reach of the general public instead of a tiny subset of the population. It is difficult not to imagine that there are some very happy government officials out there riding around in a shiny, expensive new car. What do you think? Is the policy a handout or helpful?

+ Department for Transport

Via The Guardian