A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

Get your tanks off our roads

I’ve added a link to the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s. The whole SUV/ 4×4 area is the latest example of Labour timidity in the face of Climate Change. An increase in vehicle duty of around the price of half a tank of petrol is not going to deter the selfish and irresponsible people who insist on buy and driving these things.

Sadly UK drivers are buying 4x4s at an increased rate, far more than drivers across the rest of Europe. Labour’s inaction has contributed to this sales boom. It really makes me wonder what sort of world our two-year-old son is going to grow up in.

The one small patch of sunshine in this gloom in the news in the Observer that,
“The Lib Dems will push to raise the top car tax rate from £210 to £2,000 for the most polluting vehicles, including many 4x4s and BMW 7 series models this week. The move, which would apply only to vehicles being registered for the first time, will be launched as an amendment to the finance bill, which puts the Budget into law.”

Great stuff. We also need to start taxing the existing vehicles off our roads. Perhaps with a phased increase in tax to allow people to change their car. And higher congestion charge. I mean who in their right mind would want to drive a 4×4 through London?

As for the problems of a high tax on 4x4s for farmers etc, the Lib Dems have thought of that. According to the Environmental Data Interactive News Centre,
“…the tax increase would not hit farmers and other country dwellers who may need a 4×4 for access. Not all 4x4s fall into the highest tax bracket, such as the Land Rover Freelander, which emits 205 g CO2/km.

A 50% tax reduction for rural dwellers would give rural dwellers extra protection from the effects of the tax. “This amendment is aimed at Chelsea tractors, not vital rural vehicles,” the Lib Dems said in a statement.

The new tax would only apply to new cars, that is those being registered for the first time. Data for 2005 suggest that around 8% of new cars would fall into the most polluting bracket. Models include 4x4s like the Range Rover 4.4 V8, which burns as much as 389 g CO2 /km, luxury sports cars like the Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, but also “family” cars like the Renault Espace 2 lite.”

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