Gordon Brown yesterday announced a 30% cut in vehicle excise duty (VED) for cars which emit the least pollution. Diesel cars in band B have had their VED reduced from £50 to £35, while petrol cars see a reduction of £10 to £40. Cars in Band A will continue to pay no VED.
Drivers of the most polluting Band G vehicles will see car tax almost double to £400 by April 2008. The increase for Band G cars (which includes 4x4s and some large people carriers and estate cars) was accompanied by a £10 rise for Band F vehicles.
Biofuels have their 20p per litre duty reduction extended to 2010, with the 40p per litre reduction for biogas extended to 2012. Mr Brown stated that this helped fulfil the government’s obligations on renewable fuels.
Mr Brown said that the government wanted to set “a framework for environmental action combining a call to personal and social responsibility with European and international co-operation”. He also commented that he had asked Sir Nicholas Stern – author of the Stern Review – to work with Professor Julia King of Aston University on developing “the next generation of low and no carbon vehicles”.
But there are some who believe the Chancellor has missed a great opportunity to tackle climate change. “There’s some good measures in it, but it doesn’t go far enough at all,” said Dave Timms of Friends of the Earth. “There are policies out there that would be a strong incentive for people to go green, but the Chancellor has chosen to ignore them.”