Classics, "supercars" and 4x4s to be taxed off the road?

Apparently the Government is now considering proposals to offset the emissions problems they have identified in diesel engines by raising taxes on 4x4s, "supercars" and classics, according to media reports this morning.

So, let's get this right. Previous government encourages people to buy diesels on spurious environmental grounds, despite knowing that diesel engines emit particulates known to be carcinogenic. Current government then decides to act after environmentalists and anti car lobbies blame private car users for air pollution levels in cities.

Diesel drivers make a fuss, understandably, about being targetted for something they have been encouraged to do.

Government responds by considering targetting owners of other vehicles for swingeing tax hikes to pay the bill for the diesel drivers.

In other news, the government has realised that drinking snake oil is bad for you and is considering raising revenue on snake oil use by taxing people who drink tea.

For God's sake, if the problem really is diesel engines then deal with diesel engines. Don't use it as a pretext to extract more money from people who are not the problem.

It's high time that government recognised that taxation should be based on usage when it comes to private transport. I have a 40 year old Land Rover that has done a little over 40,000 miles since new, a 5.0l Jaguar that I do about 3000 miles a year in and an Auris Hybrid that does about 25,000 miles a year. Which, of these, do we think causes the most environmental damage every year? And which is zero rated for vehicle excise duty?

Before they even get to this point though, the government really needs to come up with compelling facts about pollution levels, their causes and effects, to convince everybody that this isn't all simply just yet another cynical revenue raising exercise.

Edited to add that I have now found a link to the proposal paper which emanates from government transport minister Charlie Elphicke.

This contains all the really useful facts and figures that prove that private motorists barely contribute to the pollution issue that they are being blamed for, and then goes on to recommend that vehicles producing over 170g of CO2 be targetted for taxation to fund the cost of replacing diesel engines which produces produce high NO2 and particulates. The total lack of logic and coherent thought evident here could not be clearer..

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