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Road Pricing Will Be Used To Reduce Vehicle Mileage

April 29, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

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A new report from Greener Transport Solutions – a group overseen by academics – has warned it was key motorists transition from fuel duty to a “new way of paying for road use”. The report said the switch would be one of the “best fiscal changes“ the Government could make for UK roads.

Experts have warned there is a “fiscal imperative” to the scheme as drivers ditch petrol and diesel cars.

The Treasury is expected to lose £40billion as drivers make the switch through lost fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) charges.

The report said: “Road pricing is one of the best fiscal changes that any government could have made over the last generation.

“It has always been the most effective way to tackle road congestion and pollution, and now there is a fiscal imperative with the prospect of a £40 billion hole in the public finances as receipts from road taxation disappear.”

They said it was crucial a system was introduced which could levy taxes on both classic internal combustion vehicles and electric cars “fairly”.

Under current rules electric car drivers are exempt from tax charges but it is expected this will change as zero-emission cars become more popular.

However, the Greener Transport Solution’s report said it would be a “challenge” to introduce a scheme which does not turn drivers away from purchasing electric cars.

The report said: “We need to accelerate the shift to zero-emissions vehicles.

“At the same time, some form of road pricing will be essential. Firstly, to replace receipts from fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty as the vehicle fleet gets cleaner (annually £28bn is received in fuel duty; £6bn from VAT on fuel, £6.5bn from VED).

“Secondly, to reduce vehicle mileage.

“Simply replacing ICEs risks locking in car dependency and increasing congestion.

“Road traffic will increase as motoring costs get cheaper unless we transition from fuel duty to a new way of paying for road use.

“The challenge is how to introduce road pricing in a way that can be delivered politically, and which doesn’t disincentivise the switch to EVs.

“We need a system that can levy tax on both ICEs and EVs fairly.

“It would be inequitable in the extreme if road infrastructure was financed from general taxation.

“This would mean non-car owners, a high percentage on low income, cross-subsidising motorists.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1429587/car-tax-changes-pay-per-mile-update-electric-petrol-diesel-vehicle

 

We’ve all known this was coming, but the greenies’ dirty little secret is also out of the bag. Just read this again:

“At the same time, some form of road pricing will be essential. Firstly, to replace receipts from fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty as the vehicle fleet gets cleaner (annually £28bn is received in fuel duty; £6bn from VAT on fuel, £6.5bn from VED).

Secondly, to reduce vehicle mileage.

“Simply replacing ICEs risks locking in car dependency and increasing congestion.

“Road traffic will increase as motoring costs get cheaper unless we transition from fuel duty to a new way of paying for road use.

Road pricing will be specifically used to cut car travel, whether electric or not. Mileage charges will need to be set well above the current equivalent in fuel duty to achieve this; you will either have to pay up, go by public transport, or stop at home.

Inevitably these charges will be stepped up over time, often without anybody noticing. Currently of course, no government would dare to raise fuel duty in such a way – just think back to the fuel tax revolts in 2000, not to mention the gilets jaune in France.

The only ones who won’t suffer will be the Gummers of the world, who are so rich they won’t notice the difference.

61 Comments
  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:15 pm

    The Gummers of this world will not notice because it will all be set off against expenses – so someone else pays, as ever was.

  2. Alan Haile permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:18 pm

    Why don’t they charge VED on electric cars now? It will have to happen one day.

  3. Sobaken permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:25 pm

    “It has always been the most effective way to tackle road congestion and pollution”
    I assume you will have to pay equally for each mile driven, whether you were driving on highways and country roads, or in an urban centre. As I understand it, this tax would disproportionately penalise rural populations and people who frequently need to drive from one city to another, rather than metropolitan dwellers who actually cause traffic congestion.

    • Dan permalink
      April 30, 2021 12:32 pm

      A zonal system could be used I suggest though it will be difficult to get right.

  4. Colin R Brooks permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:29 pm

    The government must realise just how willing the UK public are to just do as they are told.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      April 29, 2021 5:41 pm

      All the things we’ve meekly complied with “because of Covid” shows that there is no fight left in the British public. Bojo is just one of a series of politicians who know this and break the rules knowing that the public will just shrugand do nothing no mattter how serious the misdemeanor

  5. Broadlands permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:35 pm

    And, of course, all this is regional and globally trivial. It will take a lot of time so the ‘polluting’ CO2 will continue to rise at Mauna Loa. It will have no noticeable effect on the climate. UK costly “window dressing”?

  6. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:46 pm

    It is interesting to consider that there has been little, if any, reduction in particulates or NOx over the last year, despite the (unproven) dire warnings of tens of thousands of deaths from these emissions, which have been used to demonise diesel engines. This means that the proposed emissions tax on I/C engines would be a carbon tax. Surely, electric cars, whose power derives about 40% from fossil fuels, ought to pay a similar tax if the purpose is to tax carbon.

    Maybe the answer is to make public transport have to be profitable so that Londoners would appreciate the damage that they do to the rest of the UK who depend on low-mileage-cost cars for their daily life. The cries of “let them use public transport” might abate.

  7. Mack permalink
    April 29, 2021 3:54 pm

    Quite apart from the rural poor, the self employed and those citizens abysmally served (or not at all) by erratic and expensive public transport services, road pricing will go down like a lead balloon with the haulage industry. If HGVs are covered under this plan, I would fully expect a re-run of the 2000 Fuel Protests. It doesn’t take many aggrieved truckers to bring the country to its’ knees should they wish to flex their Scania sized muscles.

  8. April 29, 2021 4:02 pm

    Time for public “disobedience” to the great and the good or, probably better, transport them to somewhere very uncomfortable on a 1 way ticket, after due legal process.
    The Gummer and Milliband types, all of them, deserve to be first in line for transportation.
    We must never forget that Ministers and politicians are all public servants, not dictators. .

    • devonblueboy permalink
      April 29, 2021 5:14 pm

      They have all forgotten that inconvenient fact

    • April 29, 2021 9:29 pm

      What an unusualy stupid idea, but then again look at the rich b8start doing it, I would bet that everyone pimping for this are high living off the peasants. It is coming time to sort out the crooks in Parliament and start from scratch.

      • April 29, 2021 9:59 pm

        Not stupid at all, just tongue-in-cheek natural justice.
        I repeat, these jokers are there to serve us by getting us the best deals, not to boss us, as in world war time, when our liberty has to be curtailed.
        Many politicos, not only the Greens, are dishonest and corrupted by greed and self importance, almost to a psychopathic state.
        Their ignorance, group think and venality betoken their brainless. shamelessness .

  9. Colin MacDonald permalink
    April 29, 2021 4:03 pm

    At the moment e cars are still not cost competitive with ICE cars even when they’re not taxed. The real question is whether they will be, a question nobody seems to be asking. If they do become competitive then at least we’re not left with a fiscal hole. As it is, if the whole the UK were to switch tomorrow, the treasury would be short of £40billion a year. Good luck with making up the short fall, we’ll get real austerity with this.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 29, 2021 7:11 pm

      My bet is that the government (any) will make ICE cars too expensive – tax-wise – against EVs. It’s not the plan – IMHO – to make EVs cheap but to make ICEs expensive.

      • Colin MacDonald permalink
        April 29, 2021 9:40 pm

        Ultimately, we don’t have unlimited resources, it doesn’t matter how we work the tax system, if we’re spending £40billion a year more on cars that’s £40billion less to spend on other stuff, like education, health, renewables(!). Maybe you’re right, the plan is for us to ditch our cars, that way we’ll have more spare cash to give the state ;whatever your politics, cars ain’t cheap, even diesels .
        Of course if we can get the true cost of e cars down to their ICE equivalent, then we can still pay the same tax, it’s a big it if though.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        April 30, 2021 10:12 am

        Exactly. The same will happen with gas cooking and heating.

  10. It doesn't add up... permalink
    April 29, 2021 4:09 pm

    National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios implicitly assume a halving of mileage. The CCC even less. Presumably that implies even greater costs and taxes, if not outright rationing.

    I see Khan is making a start with his proposed charge for driving across the London boundary.

  11. 2hmp permalink
    April 29, 2021 4:13 pm

    As all these wild schemes to support a fallacy are promoted we are getting ever close to the day of denouement. Let’s hope it is soon, as at last even the Telegraph is beginning to question the NetZero concept.

  12. Jeff Todd permalink
    April 29, 2021 4:16 pm

    Why should motorists foot the bill? After all the taxes were introduced because motorists were “causing pollution”. Little more than 15% is actually spent on the roads, the rest bailing out government stupidity. And if the Treasury is 40 billion in the red, what sort of plank makes government finance dependent on a product that you do not want people to use? That takes a special kind of stupid; enter politicians and environmentalist stage right.

    • patrick healy permalink
      April 29, 2021 5:48 pm

      Hello Jeff,
      You are obviously a young ‘un.
      I still call “it” by its proper name – The Road Fund License.
      It was introduced to pay for building and maintaining the roads.
      Therefore any one who uses the roads, cars, bikes motorbikes and particularly tractors hereabouts should bloody well pay the same exorbitant road tax as I pay for my perfectly functioning diesel astra.

      • Andy permalink
        April 29, 2021 6:38 pm

        Patrick,
        I’m a cyclist, who travels around the streets of London, an inch from death as Uber drivers fly by me. There is no way my bicycle causes anywhere near the wear and tear to the road that a car causes, and it would be ridiculous to expect me to pay towards a road fund. Some of my Council Tax and income tax already goes towards road maintenance, which I think is more than enought – I cause about as much wear on the road as a pedestrian walking over a zebra crossing.

        BTW I stop at every red light and often confront the d##khead cyclists who seem to think traffic lights are a mere suggestion for them, rather than a mandatory instruction to stop.

      • April 29, 2021 9:31 pm

        And do you benefit from all of the services that you rely on who use roads, such as farms, shops, hospitals, industry, police, public services, public transport and thousands more?
        So what gives you the right to avoid paying for them?

      • Colin MacDonald permalink
        April 29, 2021 9:47 pm

        Patrick, as one who worked in the ghastly oil industry for 25years, have to say I disagree. The wear and tear on road surfaces is all from cars and trucks, it increases with the 4th power of axle weight, therefore your car does about 10,000 times more damage than my bike. Not really worth the hassle collecting 2p road tax from me. And every bike in the city is one less car holding you up at the lights.

      • Mack permalink
        April 29, 2021 10:11 pm

        Andy, do you not think it’s fair that cyclists should contribute something to the hundreds of millions spent in recent years on cycling lanes? Or should that burden fall on the oft derided and over taxed motorist who regulary gets fined should they stray in to the ‘Zyl’ lanes that have lately done more to increase urban congestion and vehicular pollution in our city centres than any other policy?

      • Andy permalink
        April 29, 2021 11:06 pm

        Paul,
        As I said, my taxes already go towards the upkeep of the roads so your point is moot (as well as rather illogical)

        Mack,
        I think cycle lanes are a complete waste of space and money. All they do is restrict the road for cars, as well as forcing cyclists to cycle over storm drains. Cars, buses, lorries, bikes, motorcycles, and every other vehicle are perfectly capable of sharing the road safely – they don’t need dedicated lanes to do that.

      • Dan permalink
        April 30, 2021 12:40 pm

        Cyclists don’t avoid paying them. The road find licence originally came from the vehicle excise duty.

        The vehicle has always been the thing taxed with roads being generally paid out of the general taxation budget and, for a short period of about, hypothecated from the vehicle tax.

        To suggest that cyclists or even non road users do not pay towards the roads, is absurd.

  13. ianprsy permalink
    April 29, 2021 4:16 pm

    And how is mileage going to be measured? GPS? What’ll that cost to implement? Another “success story” like smart meters no doubt.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      April 29, 2021 9:35 pm

      It’s the primary reaqson for the Galileo sat nav suste. The American owned GPS, won’t permit it to be used for road pricing.

  14. markl permalink
    April 29, 2021 4:44 pm

    In true Marxist fashion the tax short fall will continue to come from the masses until they can no longer afford it and then there will be nothing …. until they can off load the tax burden onto a new target …. which will be EVs. But since there will be fewer EVs the taxes will be disproportionately higher eventually reducing that source once again down to nothing. Next will come increasing public transportation fees to again make up the difference until that becomes barely affordable as well. In time the roads will be useless, like in North Korea, and upkeep will be unnecessary. Problem solved.

  15. David Ashton permalink
    April 29, 2021 5:48 pm

    Number plate recognition cameras, they are already all over the country. Every time you pass one you will be billed for the distance from the previous one you passed. I am sure apps will be developed to advise on cheapest routes, but more and more APNRs will be introduced to cut out the “cheap rat runs”.

  16. D fagan permalink
    April 29, 2021 6:02 pm

    The numbers quoted are not the full picture. As the oil companies sell less petrol and diesel corporation tax, PRT ( petroleum revenue tax), paye, and NI will all fall. Plus rents from all the pertol stations. At least 1 of the UKs oil refineries will close, again loss of taxes.
    And then because the price of oil will RISE the costs of plastics will rise.
    So mobile phones, electric cables, medical plastics will cost XXXXXX% more.
    If you want a long term stcok market bet buy oil company shares as plastics will become the next gold, platimium and silver.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 30, 2021 10:10 am

      That’s not how it works. If items with VAT on them increase in price then VAT increases. If we are buying from new businesses their CT makes up for lost CT.

      The problem is GDP. If we are less effecient and less productive (which we will be) GDP will fall. To maintain the same tax take from a smaller amount of production requires higher tax rates. But if the prices of essentials rise (which they will) and unemployment rises (which it will) then the amount of production available to be taxed (the surplus after essentials) falls and required tax revenue rises. This is the classic socialist economic squeeze as Venezuela continues to remind us. The state tries to spend more when production is falling and costs are rising. The Greens have two delusions: either that this magically won’t happen despite the laws of economics or that we won’t mind becoming impoverished.

  17. Tim Spence permalink
    April 29, 2021 6:47 pm

    Sounds like what George Harrison predicted, can’t remember the exact lyrics but something like …

    If you drive a car I’ll tax the street
    If you like to walk I’ll tax your feet
    If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
    cos I’m the Taxman, oh yeh I’m the Taxman.

  18. April 29, 2021 7:36 pm

    Road pricing will be specifically used to cut car travel, whether electric or not.

    Creating an opportunity for any political party that rejects that approach.

  19. Shoki Kaneda permalink
    April 29, 2021 8:03 pm

    No, it will not reduce mileage. Most people’s driving is not discretionary. It is necessary to work, take kids to school, get food, etc. All this poorly conceived pipe dream will accomplish is a regressive tax on the middle class and working poor.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      April 29, 2021 9:38 pm

      Yes, the days of “Let’s go for a drive in the countryside” have long gone for most people.

      • Colin MacDonald permalink
        April 29, 2021 9:56 pm

        Seriously? Here in NE Scotland the majority of small towns have boarded up, empty High Streets, but garden centres, furniture stores, coffee shops thrive on the edge of town with their own parking. It seems to me that everyone wants to drive to their destination, and are too lazy to walk any distance at all.

  20. Huw Thomas permalink
    April 29, 2021 8:18 pm

    Looking across the whole gigantic green tyranny that is now about to be imposed on the people of the UK I think that we must seriously prepare for ACTIVE opposition. We need to prepare for this and organise appropriately. I can’t believe I just wrote that but that’s what it has now come to.

  21. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    April 29, 2021 8:43 pm

    EVs are soon (5 years) going to be suitable for most drivers. At home charging (if you have space and equipment) will be good enough. Charging while on longer trips will be suitable in about 10 years. Work place, public, and retail parking will become charging points.
    Pricing/costs/fees (the whole nine yards) will approach equality, also in 7 to 10 years.
    All of this is going to cost a bundle, whether openly or hidden; who knows? But pay you will. Just go on getting on.

    Your mental health will be best if you consider yourself an alien from a far off cosmos and watch the action.

    The odd thing is none of this is necessary. The climate won’t notice nor care.

    • ianprsy permalink
      April 29, 2021 10:06 pm

      That’s the really frustrating thing. The greens have got people asking “how?” instead of “why?”

    • markl permalink
      April 29, 2021 10:22 pm

      We’ve already had over a decade of consumer grade EVs and less than 1% of the cars on the road worldwide are EVs. The low hanging fruit EV buyers are done. We’ve rung out LiIon as much as we can and range has improved but not where it should be and the batteries cost too much to achieve that range. Charge times are still too high for practical use beyond at home/slow charging. Due to battery deterioration and cost there won’t be any used EV market to speak of. I say at best only 5% of the cars will be EVs in 10 years and that will be mostly in big cities of affluent countries maybe going to 15%. And I’m an optimist. I hope we both live that long to find out 🙂

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 30, 2021 10:00 am

      I’m unconvinced. EVs are unlikely to overcome the range problem without some transformational innovation. We can add 5% here and there but to comparecwithban ICE you need to triple or quadruple range. Never. As for charging points, it’s not just the cost but the time required. It will take decades to put in enough and that would require huge resources shifted away from other things – good old opportunity cost, which nobody factors in at the moment.

  22. 186NO permalink
    April 29, 2021 8:57 pm

    Isn’t it ironic that diesel cars , of the more recent Euro 4/5/6 varieties , kick out less CO2 than their petrol equivalent, horsepower for horsepower? So if the “problem ” of NO2 was fixed , then you would have the Greens banging the gong for diesel fuelled cars as they warm the planet less….or is that too logical for these morons?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      April 29, 2021 10:46 pm

      AdBlue largely fixes the NO2 problem. Not that it is much of a problem in the first place. Check out the data here:

      https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/VBL64/1/

      You will see that trucks etc. have seen a sharp fall in emissions of NOx, and so have cars. Our overall emissions are now very low, and mostly do not come from road transport, which only accounts for 20% of the total, and they continue to decline quite rapidly.

  23. Gamecock permalink
    April 29, 2021 10:40 pm

    “It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” – Claire Wolfe

  24. David permalink
    April 30, 2021 1:08 am

    With Boris making climate change decisions which appear ludicrous to any simpleton working out the figures on the back of an envelope, I can only think he must be responding to threats from the yellow peril to infect us with further deadly viruses.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 30, 2021 7:43 am

      Princess Nut Nut is his handler.

      • devonblueboy permalink
        April 30, 2021 7:50 am

        Not his carer?

    • April 30, 2021 7:43 am

      I think it’s fair to say that his ludicrous decisions are driven totally by the mother of his latest child; a greenie who displays that tribe’s complete lack of common sense and the economic grasp of a 5 year old. But to call her the yellow peril is surely taking it a bit too far!

  25. stevejay permalink
    April 30, 2021 7:07 am

    Does the Government realise that the vast majority of people use a car TO GET TO WORK?
    Away from city centres, public transport is a joke. Many small towns are now undergoing massive housing developments, yet the infrastructure stays the same. The motorist seems to lose out every time.

    • April 30, 2021 7:44 am

      The idiots who make these decisions all live/work in London and know nothing of the rest of the country

  26. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    April 30, 2021 7:42 am

    Road pricing in addition to 200% tax on road fuel? Can we hang the b@%%##£@s yet?

  27. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 30, 2021 9:27 am

    Because lefties are stupid and have never run anything, they don’t consider the practicalities. How is this to be managed? Voluntary reporting? Best of luck with that. An inspector calls? Sorry officer my car’s with my grannie in Scotland. Every car to be fitted with an odometer and satellite reporting? Cost? Oops mine’s bust. How is it to be policed? How will the money be collected? It will only need a million gilet jaunes to ‘appeal’ for it to crash.

  28. Phoenix44 permalink
    April 30, 2021 9:53 am

    This is economically illiterate. Congestion charging prices the poor off the roads to the benefit of the better off. That is not how externalities are supposed to work. What we are creating is a deeply unequal system where the rich get to continue with all sorts of things we currently consider basics – cars, foreign holidays, warm houses – and the rest don’t.

  29. April 30, 2021 11:19 am

    Sunday 7:06am TalkRadio discussed the PPI like diesel legal cases
    lawyers suing diesel manufacturers

    Yes why can’t owners sue Gordon Brown for UK govt for promoting diesels then changing its mind and punishing diesels ?
    https://talkradio.co.uk/radio/listen-again/1619330400

  30. Gerry, England permalink
    April 30, 2021 2:21 pm

    GWPF is reporting that Oersted have had to own up to the increasing cost of maintaining the connection cables to their off-shore windmills. It seems the rocks used to prevent scouring of the seabed around the concrete bases are eroding the cable casings and causing failures. No doubt this is true for most operators.

  31. Vernon E permalink
    April 30, 2021 2:38 pm

    Isn’t it probable that all these ideas are just pie-in-the sky. Governments of all shades are so inept and divided that basically nothing gets done. The only national change that was attempted was smart meters, not difficult one would think, but look where its at. Stuck in the grey zone after having already cost billions. Glad I do less than 2K miles per year. The whole electric vehicle thing is a drifting mess. There should have been a plan and that should have included prioritising commercial vehicles mainly performing in-city delivery services.

  32. David permalink
    April 30, 2021 4:35 pm

    Anything run by the state or non profit making concerns becomes a drifting mess. Think smart motor ways The health service, Local Authorities, John Lewis? Vs Tesco, Morrisons Ryanair, Oil companies. By the way “Yellow Peril” does not refer to Carrie.

  33. Russ Wood permalink
    May 2, 2021 3:53 pm

    When I was working, my job moved from the Johannesburg area (where I lived) to the Pretoria area, leaving me with a 45 kilometer commute. These days, the motorway between Jhb and Pta now has ‘road pricing’ via number plate scanning. The majority of commuters simply don’t pay the tolls (about which NOBODY was consulted), but if I was still working, I reckon it would cost me an additional 70 Rand (say 3.50 pounds) a day extra. Public transport? In Gauteng province? It is to laugh.
    People LIVE where they are, where the schools and family are. Jobs move, so workers have to commute. Anything that adds expense and difficulty to the already expensive and unpleasant commuting, is really undesirable. Remember the lack of consideration for the ordinary folk when it comes to the next vote!

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