It’s one of the big questions being discussed amongst politicians and motoring bodies right now as to whether a tax increase should be introduced for those drivers who own diesel vehicles. Whilst many would agree that measures should be taken to reduce emissions overall, there are some who see it as a very unfair measure, particularly considering that not too long ago the government was praising diesel as a greener, more efficient fuel type.
Quentin Wilson, lead campaigner for Fair Fuel UK, said: “In the late 90s, governments all over the EU scrambled to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, vans and trucks and ignored the much more pressing health hazard of diesel emissions.
“Gordon Brown in 2001, on the advice of the EU, lowered the duty on diesel because it was considered a greener fuel than petrol.
“50% of UK consumers swapped over to oil burning cars and that single policy decision drastically changed the quality of the UK’s air in a single decade. “
Conservative MP Jason McCartney said: “I would be very concerned about a knee jerk tax rise on diesel and I am very well aware that the heart of our UK economy is driven by diesel, so jobs would definitely be at risk if the price was increased.
“I would certainly like to see some kind of well thought out and innovative diesel scrappage scheme so that we can have a sensible and responsible debate about how to incentivise owners of dirty engines to transfer to cleaner ones.”
However, according to one government spokesperson who commented on the issue, a diesel scrappage scheme would be less effective: “A national scrappage scheme cannot guarantee reducing emissions as effectively as these other measures, because air quality issues are often localised and can be managed in other ways.”