to further demonise diesel drivers in Autumn Budget|
article by Lisa Edwards in the petrolprices.com newsletter.15th Nov 2017
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to the latest Budget predictions, Chancellor Philip Hammond looks set to further
demonise diesel drivers, with new measures to tax vehicles more heavily. The move
would be presented in the 22nd November Budget announcemen as a means of improving
air quality, but it seems to be yet another step towards making diesel vehicles
untenable for drivers.|
The Chancellor is expected to
penalise drivers of diesel vehicles in order to boost initiatives created by Environment
Secretary Michael Gove, which were announced in July. The measures are aimed at
improving air quality in towns and cities around the country. The punishing
new tax is believed to either take the form of a raise in VAT on diesel fuel or
a new tax on diesel vehicles. The Treasury has already released a statement
confirming that the clean air strategy would involve a tax that would treat
'new diesel cars differently.' It is yet another penalty being put on diesel
drivers in this period of anti-diesel rhetoric, just like the 'Dieselgate' scandal
that broke back in 2015.
Sales of new diesel vehicles are already in free fall. Car sales
in the UK contracted by 12.2% in October 2017 compared to same period in 2016.
Diesels have seen a 29.9% decline over the same period. According to the AA some
41% of members have diesel vehicles. However, when drivers are asked what their
next vehicle will be, the figure drops to just 16%. People are being forced away
from diesel as it continues to be demonised in relation to the UK's air pollution
problems. Meanwhile, the Government continues to encourage the use of electric
and hybrid vehicles. This segment of the car industry enjoyed sales growth of
36.9% in the 12 months to October 2017. It now represents 5.2% of the total market.
on diesel drivers
Rumours also abound that the Chancellor may not only
increase the tax on diesel cars, but decrease it on petrol cars which are viewed
as less polluting than their diesel counterparts. Such a move would no doubt been
seen as yet another kick in the teeth for diesel drivers. When people are asked,
there's little doubt that most are against the proposed tax increase for diesel
vehicles. In a Facebook poll, PetrolPrices asked: Do you think it's a good idea
to tax diesel drivers more to help reduce pollution and invest in low emissions
transportation schemes? Of those who answered, a resounding 81% said "no."
Just 19% of respondents believed that diesel drivers should face more taxation
to help deal with the higher emissions from these vehicles.
The RAC also believes that the proposed measures aren't the right
way to deal with the problem. Chief Engineer David Bizley said that the foundation
is concerned particularly about business drivers and those who drive long distances.
They often stick with older diesel vehicles because they offer better fuel economy.
Increasing tax in a 'knee-jerk' reaction could mean owners continue to stick with
older, more polluting vehicles because they can't afford to swap to newer models.
He further added that the irony in all of this is that the new generation of diesel
vehicles have had so many improvements from car manufacturers that they are likely
to be no more polluting than their petrol counterparts. So, within 12 months,
the measures will already be outdated. No doubt the new tax will still remain
in force though.
Rising fuel prices
measures could come alongside a period of rising fuel prices that make it even
harder for drivers to afford to run their vehicles. Experts predict that the price
of Brent Crude oil could rise again in November. It's already up £13 a barrel
since the middle of the year. Currently, it's trading at US$63 dollars a barrel,
the highest price since June 2015. This could mean an increase of around 3p per
litre for petrol drivers and around 1p per litre for diesel drivers. If the Chancellor
adds additional tax onto the cost of diesel fuel, this could make travelling by
car this Christmas a very costly experience.
Lisa Edwards ends saying "will
the latest financial punishment lead you to ditch your diesel? Or is driving simply
becoming more expensive across the board, no matter which vehicle type you opt