Treasury called to explain green car taxes

The Treasury is being criticised for failing to develop a proper communications strategy for its “green car taxes”. A failure to advertise details to the public is breeding suspicion about the taxes’ objectives, a Government committee says.

Treasury plans to impose Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) hikes for high emission cars were announced in this year’s budget. The report by the Environmental Audit Committee, which examines VED as an environmental tax, says the Treasury should have taken “much greater care to explain the changes to VED”.

The report adds: “If the point of green taxes is to change behaviour, they need to be properly publicised so that people are fully aware of what they are being encouraged to do.”

The report urges the Treasury to properly explain VED rates to motorists “to increase preparedness to pay and to intensify the message of behavioural change they are meant to convey”.

Critics say the VED plans will raise revenue for the Government but will do little to reduce CO2 emissions.

A scrapping scheme to encourage drivers to replace high-emissions cars with more fuel-efficient models is also suggested in the report. In other European countries scrapping schemes either pay motorists cash for replacing high-emission vehicles with greener models, or give then large discounts on new, more efficient, cars.

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