Fleet News

Friends of the Earth claims 'misguided'

THE boss of a leading contract hire and leasing company has hit back at Friends of the Earth calls for a graduated road fund licence to penalise drivers of gas-guzzlers. Tony Williams, director of Vauxhall Master Hire, was speaking following Friends of the Earth calls for Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to make the announcement in his March 17 Budget.

Claiming that the calls were 'misguided', Williams said: 'Engine size for the basis of a consumption tax is an irrelevance. A large capacity direct injection diesel engine can have 50% superior fuel economy than a high-running smaller capacity petrol engine.

'Cars that are not fuel efficient, irrespective of their engine size, are already hit through fuel duties which will continue to rise higher than inflation. Engine size taxation inevitably leads to distortions in the market place, such as that seen in Italy where severe penalties kick in for cars above two litres.'

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