Diesel car tax rise due in Autumn Budget 13 | 11 | 2017

    SCOTS CAR OWNERS are set to be hit hard in next week’s Autumn Budget as Chancellor Philip Hammond looks set to increase taxes on diesel cars.

    The move is the latest by the Government to shift drivers to less polluting vehicles. The report, in the Financial Times, says Government aides have decided tax increases on diesel cars is the best option. The move will be announced on 22 November.

    The aides also suggest Hammond sees increased levies on sales of new diesel cars as the best route to meeting budget requirements set out by the Clean Air Plan.

    A draft copy of the plan  — in which the Government will ban the sale of exclusively petrol or diesel cars by 2040, so that every new car sold in the UK would be electric or hybrid — was published in May this year.

    The latest anti-diesel move signals another blow to the fuel, and comes after October new registration figures in Scotland showed sales of new diesel cars were down 29.5% last month compared to October 2016.

    Related: Sales of diesel cars in Scotland slump 29.5% in October

    Related: Demonisation of diesels "is unfair"

    It remains unclear whether the new diesel tax increase will be a fresh tariff, or by a simple VAT adjustment on sales of new diesel cars.

    Speaking to the Financial Times, the AA’s president, said: “It is ridiculous to further demonise diesel via differential taxes when drivers are already voting with their wheels.

    “Some 41% of AA members own diesels but that drops to 16% when drivers are asked what fuel their next car will run on.”

    King urged the Treasury to “concentrate on incentives for greener cars rather than hitting diesel.”

    The news was also received with dismay by Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

    He stressed that falling sales of new diesel cars should be met with “urgent reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the UK.”

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    Jim McGill


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