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Government rejects calls to raise fuel duty & VED for diesel vehicles

Responding to the recent Action on Air Quality report from the committee, the Government refused to consider a rebalancing of taxes to address CO2, NO2 and particulate matter emissions. It repeated its pledge that fuel duty – on both petrol and diesel fuel – would be frozen for the remainder of the current Parliament, and that it had no plans to change the tax structure for Vehicle Excise Duty.

However, the Government did confirm that it is currently carrying out a review of its national air quality strategy, which will be published and put out to public consultation before being submitted to the European Commission at the end of 2015. The conclusions of this review may include further initiatives, including the introduction of a national diesel scrappage scheme and/or a diesel particulate filter retrofit scheme, as recommended by the Select Committee.

Elsewhere in its response to the committee, the Government confirmed it was still considering its approach to the use of individual local low emission zones or a wider national framework. 

The BVRLA greeted the news, with BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney saying: “The BVRLA shares the government’s focus on supporting cleaner vehicles and sustainable road transport. 

“Like them we think the priority is the introduction a new type approval regime that delivers expected real-world emissions reductions, rather than a retrospective and unfair tax on diesel-driving motorists.”  

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.