The purpose of the rise is to help reduce air pollution in the city centres
Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, has indicated that there could possibly be a tax increase on diesel cars, to help reduce the rise in air pollution within UK City centres.
Mr McLoughlin said that the last Labour Government made a mistake in promoting diesel cars. He also added that the rise in diesel vehicle purchases has led to a “dramatic rise” in pollution levels within a number of city centres, including London.
In 2001, government ministers brought in new vehicle tax rates to encourage people to buy diesel cars, which produced lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Only 7.4% of cars in the UK were diesels in 1994. However, by 2004, 33% of new car sales were diesels. One decade on and every second new vehicle bought in the UK was a diesel.
Diesel cars are responsible for throwing out toxic nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and particulate matter and this is associated with around 7,000 deaths every year. There are 40,000 premature deaths in the UK per year and poor air quality is linked to this figure.
The minister for transport also stated that the UK Government isn’t just relying on taxes to help reduce air pollution. He went on to say: “We are addressing it through the Government’s air quality strategy and by putting money into public transport like the Elizabeth line.”
Over the past few months, the Government have made changes to the Plug-in Car Grant, which now offers new car buyers up to £4,500 off the price.
A recent report by AutoExpress spoke about the Government’s proposed plans to introduce a new Grant for business charging points.
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