Chancellor must not penalize low-mileage drivers

Antrim Alliance Councillor Alan Lawther has expressed disappointment with the UK Budget unveiled by the Chancellor, saying that it does not do enough for the Environment.

Cllr Lawther stated: “From an environmental point of view the budget was yet again disappointing. The amount of green taxation levied has fallen since Gordon Brown became Chancellor despite research from the reputable institute of fiscal studies suggesting that tax and prices can change behaviour.

“The Chancellor introduced a tiered tax on new cars. The tax on the most fuel efficient, which are not yet available in the UK, is £0 and on the least efficient will be £210. This is too low to have any effect, the Energy Saving Trust’s research estimates it must be around ten times as

much to change the pattern of car buying. The increase for the gas guzzlers is only around the cost of a tank of fuel. Not only is it going to have little effect but as it is not going to raise any extra money the increased administration may cost the tax payer money.

“The Chancellor failed to make a difference where it really matters in fuel prices and by delaying this rise made the environmental situation worse. The simple fact is that to reduce CO2 emissions, motorists will need to use less fuel. So the problem is not the large vehicles but the amount of fuel they burn, the new car tax scheme penalises low mileage drivers disproportionately. The chancellor has shown he is not prepared to grasp this issue after the fuel price protests of a few years ago forced him to abandon his fuel price escalator policy.”


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