Paul Barker's blog: 9 July - Budget reaction
09 July 2015
Sometimes in life, what isn't said is at least as interesting as what is, and that could be the case with yesterday's Budget statement.
I'll get onto the contradiction of the VED changes in a minute, but it was curious that no mention or acknowledgement was given to the current hot topic of diesel emissions and local air pollution, given that the Government has until the end of this year, as ordered by the European Court of Justice, to come up with plans to improve air quality in 16 zones across the UK.
Reducing or Removing pre-Euro6 diesels from those areas seems to be the direction of momentum, yet there was nothing in the Budget to even hint at a direction to be taken going forward, which increases the uncertain, speculation and misinformation.
As it turned out, VED was the biggy, and, as ACFO pointed out, the new system isn't directly in line with Governemnt policy on pushing people into lower-emitting cars.
The fact that someone driving a Bentley could pay the same VED as someone in a BMW i3 plug-in hybrid, once both cars are more than five years old, doesn't do much to push people into lower-emitting cars.
It's a policy decision that seems to have caught the SMMT by surprise, which hints at a lack of consultation with industry experts beforehand. A graduated approach would surely have been better - at present driving a car of up to 100g/km and therefore zero VED car has the big lure of beating the tax man, even though it only saves £20 a year over 101- 110g/km models.
Now you need to drive a zero-emission vehicle to avoid VED completely, and everything else is on a standard rate no matter what it emits. A strange policy decision, that, if you were drawing long-distance and big-jump conclusions, could hint at the be