Diesel Drivers ‘Should Pay Up To £800 More Tax’
By Paul Homewood
h/t Black Pearl
Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for new diesel cars should be raised by up to £800 to help improve air quality, a think tank has said.
Policy Exchange also proposes that the higher tax fund a scrappage scheme for older diesel models.
It suggested £500m could be raised each year through the higher VED, with the proceeds being put towards £2,000 grants for the owners of older diesels to purchase a cleaner car.
It argued that such drivers should not be penalised for buying diesels in good faith at a time when they were seen as being a more environmentally sound alternative to petrol vehicles.
Diesel has since come under fire, with nitrogen dioxide from exhausts being blamed for tens of thousands of deaths in the UK each year.
The fresh proposal follows a similar call for a scrappage scheme by a committee of MPs last year.
It revives memories of a £400m project that ran from 2009 to 2010 and saw owners who scrapped their old cars paid £2,000 – split between Government and the motor industry – towards the cost of a new one, boosting the fortunes of the car making industry in the wake of the financial crisis.
Richard Howard, head of environment and energy at Policy Exchange, said London and other major UK cities were facing an "air pollution crisis".
"If we are to clean up air pollution then the Government needs to recognise that diesel is the primary cause of the problem, and to promote a shift to alternatives," he said.
"This needs to be done in a way which does not unduly penalise existing diesel drivers, who bought their vehicle in good faith, and gives motorists sufficient time to respond.
"Instead of increasing diesel fuel duty or banning diesels from city centres, the Government should look to increase taxes on new diesel cars and offer scrappage grants to take old polluting diesels off the road."
I don’t know where they think the money is going to come from to fund the scrappage scheme. A tax of £800 would kill the market stone dead (which presumably is the object?).
In addition, car manufacturers would face enormous retooling costs to convert diesel engines plants. Ford at Dagenham, for instance, concentrates wholly, I believe, on diesel engines, and is reckoned to be the largest producer of Ford diesel engines globally. Such a tax would be a massive blow to them, and demand for petrol engines would likely be sourced from abroad instead.
Given that the UK’s car industry is one of the country’s big successes, creating such havoc would seem short sighted to say the least.
The very real danger here though is that, if they are allowed to get away with this, it will create a precedent for taxing petrol cars off the road next. As I have long warned, the only way they are going to get us into their precious little electric cars is to tax our existing ones to the hilt.