Azara Blog: Labour budget hits all post-2000 "polluting" cars

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Date published: 2008/04/30

The BBC says:

The government has denied claims it concealed the full extent of changes in car tax set out in this year's Budget.

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced in March he wanted to encourage manufacturers to produce cleaner cars.

But he did not say explicitly owners of the most polluting cars registered after March 2001 would have to pay more than £400 in tax from next year.

The Conservatives accused the Treasury of "duplicity". The AA said more should have been done to explain the changes.

In his Budget speech, Mr Darling set out "a major reform to Vehicle Excise Duty" (VED) which he said would "encourage manufacturers to produce cleaner cars".

And he said by introducing new bands of tax there would be "an incentive to encourage drivers to choose the least polluting car."

He also said it was "right that if people choose to buy a more polluting car that they should pay more in the first year to reflect the environmental cost."

However, he did not say explicitly higher charges would apply to anyone who bought a car from 1 March 2001.

One of the worst aspects of Gordon Brown as Chancellor was that he determinedly gave only positive spin in the Budget speech and all the negative details were leaked out later in dribs and drabs. Unfortunately, now that we have this tradition it is never going to stop (especially given Cameron's background in PR).

And you can see why Darling didn't want to come clean on this tax. Because making the tax retrospective shows that it blatantly has nothing to do with trying to "encourage manufacturers to produce cleaner cars".

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