Azara Blog: Lib Dems propose arbitrarily punitive annual car tax

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Date published: 2006/08/13

The BBC says:

The Lib Dems are unveiling plans which they say would stop two million people on low wages paying income tax.

The party would scrap taxes for anyone earning under £7,185 per year, while its top rate of 40% would apply only to those with salaries of £50,000 or more.

Penalties on "environmentally-damaging lifestyles" would fund the changes, including dramatic rises in road taxes for high polluting cars.

There would be a top band of £2,000 on cars causing the greatest pollution.
In May, the Lib Dems announced they intended to put forward major increases in vehicle excise duty, but its policy paper - entitled Fairer, Greener, Simpler - is the first time it has broken down the charges in any detail.

Any cars in groups A and B, generating up to 120 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide, would be excluded from road taxes altogether.

The annual charge for vehicles in group E - including Ford Mondeos and Vauxhall Vectras - would jump from £150 to £850.

The class above, which features Audi A4s and the BMW 5 series, is currently £190 per year but would change to £1,500.

And there would be a £2,000 charge in top group G - for cars like Porsche 911 Carrera Coupes and the Renault Espace 2 litre petrol. It is a vast increase from the present level of £210.

The Lib Dems are more and more becoming the nasty party. As with New Labour, the Lib Dems will trumpet their income tax policies, and as with New Labour the real story are the other, stealth, taxes. The proposed massive increases in annual road tax are just pure spite by the academic middle class (i.e. rich non-workers) who dominate the Lib Dems. The annual road tax has nothing to do with pollution, you pay the same whether you drive your car one mile or a hundred thousand miles. The correct (and already present) "green" tax on cars is the petrol tax, which is already way above the putative level of any sensible emissions tax. Hopefully car drivers will remember at the next election that the Lib Dems are proposing to crucify them. If the other parties had any sense, they would hammer this message home loud and clear again and again.

Of course if the proposed policy actually had the alleged desired affect of making people get rid of their big cars in favour of small ones, then not only would there be millions of perfectly good cars disposed in a very short period, an act of environmental vandalism, but the amount of tax raised by the government would soon be vastly reduced, and so the tax sums would not add up.

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