Government plans to raise vehicle excise duty on ‘gas guzzling’ 4×4 vehicles
to help meet carbon dioxide emission targets are unjustified and
unnecessary, so says the Association of British Drivers (ABD) and Michael
"In rural areas like Staffordshire, we are now suffering a double whammy.
John Prescott’s new plans on how counties will be funded in future could
mean that Staffordshire ends up worse off than other counties affecting both
our education budgets and police numbers. But now Prescott strikes again.
Rural areas like Staffordshire have more 4×4 drivers. They are not a
luxury. And the Government plans to penalise them too. This is desperately
unfair and demonstrates yet again the Government’s obsession with cities at
the expense of those who live in the countryside or rural towns and cities
like Lichfield", says Michael Fabricant.
Data on vehicle emissions show conclusively that these measures are
unnecessary. ABD Environment Spokesman, Bernard Abrams, comments: "Due to
motor manufacturers’ efforts, cars now emit far lower amounts of carbon
dioxide. As a result, emissions forecasts of over 42 million tonnes of
carbon (mTC) by 2020 are already being revised down to 30 mTC or less, a
staggering reduction of 30%. Even by 2010 there will have been a significant
fall from the 2000 figure of around 41 to 37 mTC, so the proposed car tax
hikes are cynical and unfair. 4×4 vehicles are very popular, few are truly
gas guzzlers, and extortionate fuel duty already impacts most on those
vehicles with high consumption. Plans for hybrid engines in this sector are
"The current road tax scheme is based on a sham anyway. 97% of global carbon
dioxide emissions is from natural sources, and of the remaining 3%, only
one-seventh is from cars. That’s 0.4% of the total. If all cars on the
planet disappeared overnight, it would be next to impossible to measure any
change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The maximum drop would be
0.00015% by volume, and in reality it would be less. Of course, there would
be no impact on climate change whatsoever."
With the Government’s green flag of convenience in tatters, and car industry
eco-successes so evident, the ABD urges the Government to drop plans for any
hikes in road tax, and to hold the freeze on fuel duty, or face the anger of
30 million drivers at the ballot box.