ABD Exposes Gordon Brown's Budget "Small Car" Tax Scam
1100cc Cutoff Chosen Deliberately and Cynically to Maximise Revenue
Research by the Association of British Drivers shows that Gordon Brown's £55 road tax reduction for "small, fuel efficient cars" is simply a public relations exercise which will benefit very few owners whilst leaving many more drivers of small, fuel efficient cars frustrated, caught a few c.c.s above the cutoff point.
Figures uncovered by the ABD show that:
- There were 98,702 cars registered in 1998 with engine capacities below 1000cc, which qualify for the £55 reduction.
THIS IS ONLY 4.39 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL 2.2 MILLION CAR MARKET.
- Only TWO cars, both old model VW Polos, were registered which had engines between 1000 and 1100 cc, so Mr Brown is giving nothing away by setting the threshold at 1100cc rather than an apparently much meaner 1000cc.
- In stark contrast, a total of 113,954 cars hit the streets - 5.1 percent of the market - with engines OVER 1100cc but BELOW 1150cc.
"What a cynical trick," said ABD Chairman Brian Gregory. "There are more new car owners missing out on the reduction by less than 50cc than there are benefitting from a lower road tax which is supposed to reward small car owners."
These unlucky new car owners are hardly driving gas guzzlers, either.
Cars which fall victim include:
- The diminutive Fiat Seicento and Punto at 1108cc
- Rover's 211 and 111 models, as well as all Metros sold since 1990. Their sin? An 1120cc engine! Perhaps the Hungarian government will be more sympathetic to its wealth creators, Mr Brown.
- Most Citroen Saxo and Peugeot 106 models, which come in at a positively decadent 1124ccs.
- The Renault Clio, at 1149cc also misses out, showing the truth in its new advertising slogan. Size does indeed matter. They should never have ditched Nicole and Papa!
These are all modern, fuel efficient and clean cars, offering the minimum acceptable standards for family motoring. It is scandalous that they fail to qualify for the new tax break. Small diesels, which offer the best economy of all, and which are increasingly clean, are totally excluded.
"The new tax banding sets a dangerous precedent" states Mark McArthur-Christie, ABD Roads and Traffic Spokesman. "It means the government can hike taxes year on year for the 95% of drivers who fall outside this new tax net - yet who drive clean, modern vehicles.
Modern cars are 99% clean, yet drivers are forced to pay more and more tax each year, just to stay on the road."
"These new proposals show that the government have lost their way in tackling pollution" states McArthur-Christie, "they are now clearly anti-car rather than pro-environment."