The Chancellor has missed a major opportunity to support ultra-low emission vehicles in his 2014 Budget, according to the BVRLA.
Commenting on the measures announced by George Osborne on Wednesday, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “The Chancellor talked about extending support for low emission vehicles, but there is precious little evidence for that in this Budget.
“The electric vehicle market is still in the doldrums, and the current incentive regime isn’t working.
“The new company car tax rates announced today will do nothing to encourage fleets and their drivers to take a risk on this costly and uncertain technology.
“A business driver thinking about choosing an expensive zero-emission vehicle this year will see their company car tax rate rise from nothing to 13% within four years. Their cost of motoring will rise much faster than someone choosing a gas guzzler.
“Any cost benefit this industry might have received from the abolition of the 3% diesel supplement in 2016 has been dragged back and by 2018/19 company car drivers will be contributing an extra £480m in annual tax revenues.”
Elsewhere in the Budget, the BVRLA acknowledges the decision to provide an extra £200m for pothole repairs and freeze fuel duty.
Keaney said: “Poorly maintained and repaired roads are the cholesterol clogging up the vital transport arteries of the UK economy.
“The Government has realised we have a problem, but providing just an extra £200 million for local authority pothole repairs is not nearly enough.
“Similarly, the road haulage industry needs a cut in fuel duty, not a freeze.
“The chancellor likes to talk about tax cuts that also deliver economic growth and therefore greater tax revenues in the long run. This is a classic example that he has chosen to ignore.”
Finally, the BVRLA has pledged to work with the Government to ensure that its attempts to simplify payroll benefits and expenses do not penalise fleet operators and company car drivers.
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