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EXCLUSIVE: Business mileage next for eco taxes

Date: 16 June 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Businesses could be heaped with the new pressure of lowering fleet mileage, as well as reducing CO2, due to a new Government plan.

The reductions will need to be made as business travel by large companies, including fleet cars and vans, could fall foul of the Government's upcoming Carbon Reduction Commitment, despite originally being excluded.

The CRC aims to monitor and lower the carbon output of big business (defined as those using half-hourly electricity metering) from April 2010.

While the scheme excluded transport when first revealed, Nicola McConville, climate change partner at law firm Blake Lapthorn, believes it will be added to the CRC after a consultation on the system that closed at the start of June.

"While we don't know for sure that transport will be included because of consultation, if I was on the board of a large company subject to the CRC I'd be looking to reduce my carbon output," she said.

A BusinessCar source close to Government environmental advisors agreed that cars would be included, but not shipping or aircraft.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman did little to allay fears and said: "The current plans are that company cars and vans are not included, but the CRC has not started yet. It doesn't start until next year and we're still working on the details."

McConville added: "The CRC will monitor fuel use and therefore will look at mileage coupled to CO2.

"It's typical Government - they've made these broad statements and not given any details. A firm's electricity use puts you into the scheme, but they will monitor all fuel use once you're in," she said. "The CRC is going to be a nightmare generally."