The government should consider a diesel scrappage scheme and introduce a NOx-based element to vehicle excise duty (VED), according to The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
Britain’s last vehicle scrappage scheme saw almost 400,000 older cars taken as scrap, with owners each getting £2,000 towards a new car.
Huw Irranca-Davies MP, chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Tens of thousands of premature deaths are being caused in the UK every year by illegal levels of air pollution on our roads.
“Despite mounting evidence of the damage diesel fumes do to human health, changes to VED announced in this year’s Budget maintained the focus only on CO2 emissions.
“This was a missed opportunity to also incentivise vehicles which emit less NOx.”
The current VED system favours diesel cars which typically produce lower CO2 emissions, however, campaigners argue that NOx should also be targeted.
The EAC believes the Treasury must use VED to create long-term incentives for drivers to buy cleaner hybrid and electric cars.
In an emergency budget, following this year’s General Election, Osborne presented a revised VED structure from 2017 to take into account the rising number of hybrid and electric cars.
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