London, 31 Mar 1999.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

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:

"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:

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."


Notes for Editors