UK Budget Penalizes Family Haulers, Big Style

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
uk budget penalizes family haulers big style
The Telegraph reports that a new "showroom tax" will add between $500 and $2k to the price of new cars in Britain, depending on their level of carbon emissions. Oh wait, and add nearly $1k in annual taxes thereafter. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling says the tariff are educational; a way for consumers to understand the environmental cost of their purchase. But these measures are not simply targeting "Chelsea Tractors," the luxury SUV's that haunt London's wealthiest neighborhoods. Middle-class family haulers such as the Ford Mondeo Estate and Renault Espace would be hit hard as well. Critics point out that the measures are as disingenuous as they are patronizing. An anonymous spokesman for The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says "Trying to force people out of high-value cars has no environmental merit and will be seen as a smokescreen for revenue raising." And then what?
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  • Sitting@home Sitting@home on Mar 13, 2008
    The Chancellor has piled on the cost of a gas-guzzler in the showroom, arguing that raising vehicle excise duty to £950 in the first year will influence consumers' purchasing decisions. A Range Rover sitting in the drive is going to pollute a lot less than a Ford Focus being used for pizza delivery. Unexpectedly the Chancellor also revived plans for national road pricing which could see motorists charged up to £1 a mile to drive on popular routes during the rush hour. That's the "Rush Hour" when all cars are at a standstill and will probably only crawl a mile in an hour. Hence for the aforementioned Range Rover driver it's value for money (he's burned through $10 in gas while shorting stocks on his Blackberry with the A/C on) but it doesn't help the pizza guy. Paying only £455 each year thereafter is hardly going to stop those who can stretch to a Porsche. And there's not enough of them to kick up a fuss. Let's face it, it's all just revenue generation targeted at those least likely to already vote for the current government. The only way to ensure less consumption or travel is to raise fuel taxes, but they are already well over 100% in the UK and any further rise will result in another mass protest backlash.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Mar 13, 2008

    As if a 100% gas tax isn't already absurd enough.

  • Alex_rashev Alex_rashev on Mar 13, 2008

    Gas taxes work great, as unpopular as they are. Look at the average vehicle mass per passenger-mile on both sides of the atlantic, the difference is kinda evident ;) If anything, gas taxes should be raised to reduce VAT, in order to cut that ridiculous car price differential between Europe and USA.

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Mar 13, 2008

    Christ between the high gas tax, VAT, tolls and speed cameras, and taxes I don't even know about because I don't live there, how can they afford to drive in the country and still feed their families. I'm talking about the working class people not the rich politicians.