November 14, 2017

Diesel van drivers set for tax and fuel hike this month

petrol vans fuel efficiency

Drivers of diesel vans are expected to incur a combination of higher fuel duty and higher taxes on their vans in the 2017 budget, to be announced on November 22nd 2017!

Diesel vans

In the 2017 budget, the Government is expected to either raise VAT on diesel fuel, or bring in new taxes on diesel vans in an attempt to encourage diesel van drivers to switch to more greener new van alternatives. These changes are in conjunction with the cost of diesel already increasing by one fifth this year.

What is the reason behind the hike?

The Government will implement these changes in an attempt to achieve a Clean Growth Strategy and hence reduce emissions on Britain’s roads, according to the Royal College of Physicians, 44 UK towns and cities have dangerous levels of air pollution, with these plans aimed at reducing this issue. It is estimated that air pollution is the cause of 40,000 premature deaths each year.

Not everybody is in favour of the plans

Howard Cox from Fairfuel UK slammed the move and believes that diesel drivers are being used as “pure cash generators,” he also argued that a rise in fuel duty or new diesel van levy will hit “hardworking families, hauliers and small businesses.”

David Bizley, Chief engineer of the RAC is also sceptical of the proposed plans and highlighted the success of Euro 6 diesel engines: “The irony is that the next generation of diesel engines which manufacturers are developing right now are likely to be as clean as their petrol equivalents, so while a new tax might be logical in the short term, this logic will likely not apply within a year or so.”

Environmental lawyers at ClientEarth also believe the plans have flaws, with head of public affairs Simon Alcock stating: “It’s perverse that our tax system encourages people to buy the most polluting vans. November’s Budget will be a litmus test of the government’s resolve to clean up our dirty air.” He also added: “The possibility of a sudden rush to petrol engines also risks a new rise in CO2 emissions, precisely what previous governments tried to avoid by encouraging drivers into diesel vans.”

It is estimated that even a 1p rise in fuel duty could cost tradesman more than £400 extra a year, with the Treasury reportedly also considering a £200 levy on all new diesel vehicles.

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