Tax disincentives needed for diesels, says new report
Launched in response to Defra’s draft plans to reduce air pollution, published in September, the committee says next week’s Autumn Statement should incentivise vehicles which emit less nitrogen dioxide, as well as less carbon dioxide.
Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MP, said: “Despite mounting evidence of the damage diesel fumes do to human health, changes to Vehicle Excise Duty announced in this year’s Budget maintained the focus only on CO2 emissions. This was a missed opportunity to also incentivise vehicles which emit less NO2."
"The Chancellor has the chance to strike a better balance on this next week. The Treasury must use Vehicle Excise Duty to create long-term incentives for drivers to buy cleaner hybrid and electric cars that minimise both CO2 and harmful pollutants.”
In its report, the committee also welcomed the national framework set out for Clean Air Zones, but added that there must be consistency in terms of which vehicles are able to access them, and that responsibility for air quality mustn’t be shifted too heavily onto local authorities while funding is low.
“The Government has a duty to ensure that Local Authorities have the financial means at their disposal to adequately implement air quality action plans,” Irranca-Davies added.