London, 7 Mar 2001.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Too little too late, says ABD
Fuel cuts add insult to injury
The Association of British Drivers today condemned Gordon Brown's budget as "too little, too late". The average driver is likely to save only £31 a year from cuts in fuel costs - less than a full tank of unleaded.

Roads and Traffic Spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie said:

"The UK's drivers are paying around £1,300 a year in driving taxes and they really needed a budget that would lift the burden. We've still got the cheapest fuel coming out of the ground, the most expensive fuel at the pumps and we spend less on our transport system than any other country in Europe -the Budget did nothing to change that.

It's time the Government realised that high fuel costs penalise everyone and brought tax down."

Gordon Brown also failed to revoke plans for workplace parking charges, congestion charging and road tolls.

McArthur-Christie continues:

"Although the Chancellor seems to be giving drivers a break, the real penalties are just around the corner. If congestion charging, tolls and workplace parking taxes are introduced, drivers will be even poorer - with little alternative but to pay up."

Studies show that there is now no environmental case for keeping fuel taxes artificially high. Modern cars are cleaner and greener than most types of public transport. Car taxes should be ring fenced and spent on improving transport infrastructure for all road users - not used as a stick to drive motorists out of their cars when there are few realistic alternatives.

The ABD welcomes the removal of stamp duty on houses in deprived areas as a belated first step towards levelling out the housing market - helping to reduce long distance commuting where people cannot afford to live near their work. But Mr Brown would have done better to abolish this tax on the mobility of the labour force altogether, perhaps linked to a move closer to a place of work.


Notes for Editors