Fleet News

Chancellor under pressure for a graduated road tax

PRESSURE is increasing on Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to introduce banded road tax after environmental group Friends of the Earth backed a graduated system to discriminate against gas-guzzlers. The prospect of graduated Vehicle Excise Duty designed to penalise larger-engined vehicles has been floated by both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in recent years and now has the support of the vocal green group.

Labour went as far as making an election pledge to review VED to promote low emission vehicles last year and although the issue has not been broached since, speculation is mounting about a Budget announcement on VED next month. And last month the motor industry speculation increased that such a decision could be announced in the Budget.

New momentum behind such proposals could sound the death knell of big V6s and V8s so beloved of executive user-choosers and have a serious impact on the booming 4x4 sector. FoTE executive director Charles Secrett described the current system as 'a gift for greedy gas-guzzlers' and contrasted it with the regimes in continental Europe, where car owners pay VED in proportion to engine capacity.

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