Road tax hike will hit millions of motorists

Up to 9 million motorists will be hit by controversial reforms to road tax aimed at punishing high-polluting cars, the Government has admitted. The AA says the disclosure confirms its “worst fears”.

Official estimates, published for the first time, reveal the winners and losers in the scheme. Figures show that 44% of vehicles are expected to see road tax rises, by up to £245 for the highest polluters, compared to just 33% who will be better off.

Treasury minister Angela Eagle also revealed the five of the UK’s most popular cars will pay more; The 2.2 diesel Land Rover Freelander, the 1.6 unleaded Toyota Auris, the 2.2 diesel Honda CR-V, the 1.8 unleaded Vauxhall Vectra and the 1.6 unleaded Vauxhall Zafira.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said Gordon Brown “appears to have misled parliament” after the PM had earlier claimed the majority of drivers would benefit for the changes.

It is thought the Treasury will receive more than £1bn in additional revenue under the plan. Ministers insist that aim is to cut pollution, not raise revenue but the estimates have sparked fresh criticism from Labour backbenchers, Conservative MPs and the AA.

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