Ministers have been discussing changes to taxes for diesel cars ahead of the Autumn Budget 2017, it has been reported.
According to the Financial Times, chancellor Philip Hammond will penalise diesel owners in a bid to boost environment secretary Michael Gove’s clean air initiatives, which were announced in July.
Hammond is expected to either raise VAT on diesel fuel or create a new taxation on diesel vehicles on 22 November as part of the government’s Autumn Budget.
AA president, Edmund King said: “It is ridiculous to further demonise diesel via differential taxes when drivers are already voting with their wheels.
“Some 41 per cent of AA members own diesels but that drops to 16 per cent when drivers are asked what fuel their next car will run on.
“The Treasury should concentrate on incentives for greener cars rather than hitting diesel.”
Meanwhile, RAC chief engineer David Bizley said the plans could see diesel drivers hold onto older vehicles for longer.
He said: “We are concerned that those who drive long distances, business drivers especially, might consider sticking with their older diesels given the superior economy they offer.
“It would be a terrible misjudged ‘knee-jerk’ reaction which could backfire and have the unexpected effect of encouraging these owners of older diesels and fleets not to upgrade to newer, cleaner diesels which offer significant benefits in reduced emissions.
“This isn’t what the government, or any of us, want and is the opposite of what is needed from an air quality perspective.
“However, it would also be grossly unfair to penalise owners of current diesel vehicles.”
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