Gaping hole in UK government’s Budget where diesel measures should have been

The chancellor has failed to grasp the severity of the UK’s air quality crisis. He should have imposed a first-year tax on diesel vehicles. Instead, he merely froze vehicle excise duty for hauliers and HGVs and made no distinction between petrol and diesel cars, with Vehicle Excise Duty for all cars going up by inflation rates.

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “In today’s budget the Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to tackle toxic air in the UK. A first-year charge for new diesels would have been a strong signal that this government has woken up to the public health crisis of air pollution. Despite being ordered twice by the courts to take urgent steps to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis, it seems the Treasury has still not grasped the urgency of the situation. We fear that government plans, which are due out next month, may well fall short of what is needed. ”

Hammond made no mention of the air quality crisis in the UK in his statement to MPs. The only mentions of the air pollution crisis were in the written budget documents released on the Treasury website:

“The government is committed to improving air quality, and will consult on a detailed draft plan in the spring which will set out how the UK’s air quality goals will be achieved. Alongside this, the government will continue to explore the appropriate tax treatment for diesel vehicles, and will engage with stakeholders ahead of making any tax changes at Autumn Budget 2017.”
A second mention declared intended spending on new technologies for electric vehicles.

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!

Tom Arthur

Related articles

More from

  • Image shows mountain pass in Italy

    EU commission targets Italy over Fiat emissions

    The European Commission is taking action against the Italian government for failing to deal with Fiat Chryslers use of a “defeat device” in emissions tests.

  • cycling in countryside

    UK Government releases ‘weak’ air quality plans

    We are continuing to study the government’s latest air quality plan, but on the face of it it looks much weaker than we had hoped for.

  • purple spring flowers

    Government will not appeal High Court ruling on air pollution plan deadline

    The government has confirmed that it will not appeal last week’s High Court judgment which ordered it to produce its air quality plans by 9 May.

  • silhouette industrial chimney smoke

    A good week for clean air: tough new pollution standards mean plants must conform or close

    EU countries have finally voted to secure tough new industrial pollution rules that could save thousands of lives each year.

  • Follow us

    Newsletters

    Get our regular email newsletters, they contain the latest updates on our work as well as features and articles about environmental issues, science and politics.