Transport Minister Warns Of Diesel Tax Hike To Fight Pollution

Transport Minister Warns Of Diesel Tax Hike To Fight Pollution

Transport Minister, Patrick McLoughlin, has suggested that diesel car owners could face a tax hike in an attempt to cut air pollution.

McLoughlin also stated that the previous Labour government made a mistake by promoting diesel cars to consumers.

The Transport Minister believes that the ever increasing ownership of diesel cars has resulted in pollution levels in the UK rising dramatically, particularly in city centres such as London.

He said that it is an issue that needs urgent attention and is something the Chancellor must examine in the near future.

New vehicle tax rates were introduced by ministers in 2001, which subsequently resulted in an increased uptake of diesel cars because of their reduced levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

Only 7.4% of UK cars were diesels back in 1994, but just 10 years later a third of new cars purchased were diesels. Another decade on and diesels now make up half of new cars bought.

McLoughlin said that the previous Labour government thought they were doing the right thing by encouraging people to buy diesels, with the idea of reducing the levels of carbon emissions.

However, diesel cars also emit nitrogen dioxide, which is linked to around 7,000 deaths each year. In general, poor air quality is said to cause 40,000 deaths in the UK every year.

The Transport Minister added that the Government is addressing the problem through its air quality strategy, while also increasing investment in public transport as seen by the opening of the Elizabeth line.

Recently, the Government revised its grant for plug in car owners to give new buyers up to £4,500 off the cost of their new vehicle, meanwhile Auto Express also detailed how the Government is looking at a potential grant for business charging points, which could come in as soon as this summer.

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