It is planned that the fee will be introduced on April 1, 1998 with a consultation period expiring on February 16. It is expected that the new charge would raise more than £50 million a year. Opposition MPs raised the controversial charge in the House of Commons this week repeating claims from the Association of Car Fleet Operators, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Retail Motor Industry Federation and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders that the registration fee was 'a new tax'.
In calling for a House of Commons debate South Staffordshire Conservative MP Sir Patrick Cormack told the House of Commons: 'That tax was not mentioned in the Chancellor's Budget statement in July, and the next Budget statement is not expected for some weeks.' And shadow leader of the House Gillian Shepherd, MP for south-west Norfolk, called on Strang to tell the House why he was introducing a 'tax on new cars with effect from April 1'.