Fleet News

April 1997 deadline for MPs' big cars

MPs have until next April to trade in their gas-guzzlers for cars which deliver more mpg than mph in the wake of their historic pay and allowances vote. Members voted themselves a £9,000 pay rise but accepted the Senior Salaries Review Body's recommendations to cut the top level of mileage allowance from 74.1 pence per mile for cars over 2.3 litres to a more realistic 47.2p - with effect from April 1997.

The pay increase comes into effect immediately, but MPs have until next April to swap their Scorpios, Omegas and Range Rovers for smaller-engined, more fuel-efficient vehicles. MPs who run vehicles up to 1.3 litres retain the same 31.3p a mile allowance.

Some MPs representing rural constituencies cover more than 20,000 miles a year and maintained that they needed to run large cars to cover their expenses, but former Conservative Transport Minister Peter Bottomley said any MP who thought that cutting the mileage rate equated to a drop in pay must be making a profit on their mileage. The reduction makes it clear to the company car industry that all three major parties believe subsidising business use of large cars is no longer acceptable.

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