Alistair Darling has pleased motorists and dismayed environmental groups by deciding to limit proposed rises to Vehicle Excise Duty that were due to be imposed on the most polluting cars.
The chancellor used the pre-Budget report to reveal that from next April rises will be capped at £5 for the cars which pollute the atmosphere the most. Rises of up to £230 had originally been planned.
Mr Darling still intends to go ahead with the introduction of new bands to encourage greater fuel efficiency but has said "it would be wrong to do this in a way that places undue burdens on motorists at this time".
His words cut little ice with Tim Jenkins, Friends of the Earth UK’s head of economics, who told the BBC: "The government knows that for the top band (of Vehicle Excise Duty), the increases need to be much larger."
Cars registered prior to 2001 (about a third of the cars on UK roads) are not subject to the normal VED procedure, because reliable data on their carbon dioxide emissions is not available.
Written by Roxy Moran