19 Feb 2008.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Welcomes Porsche Challenge to "Vastly Disproportionate" London Emissions Tax
Drivers will have to pay 3500 times over for their "pollution"(1)
Today, Porsche GB announced it will seek a judicial review of Ken Livingstone's £25 "Congestion" charge on the grounds that it is unfair, disproportionate and will not cut either congestion or emissions.
The ABD is delighted that a motor manufacturer has at last found the guts to stand up for itself against bully boy tactics from the green lobby — but neither Porsche nor Ken Livingstone seem to be aware of just how unfair and disproportionate the new tax is. Our calculation shows that band G residents will be paying £161,000 per tonne for their extra emissions in central London(2).
The London mayor's advisor on climate change, Mark Watts has no clue at all — he said on BBC Radio 4 this morning:
"It's the 'polluter pays' principle — you will be allowed to carry on driving a big polluting car in central London, but what the new charge will mean is you have to pay for the cost of the pollution (1) that you inflict upon everyone else."
The Stern report, commissioned by the Government, suggested that £44 per tonne is an appropriate level of taxation for CO2 emissions.
Motorists already pay for their carbon at FIVE TIMES the level of the Stern recommendations — in fuel duty.
Ken Livingstone is going to charge those who live within the zone ANOTHER THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TIMES the amount of tax that experts suggest is reasonable if they choose to own a car that creeps over the thresholds for emissions.
Have we found the most unfair, unreasonable and disproportionate tax ever proposed in Britain?
The ABD thinks so — and insult is added to injury when you realize that buyers of some brand new £40,000+ 4x4s won't have to pay the £25 whilst some (3) VW Beetle owners will.
It is enough to drive us all to take a taxi. Until you realise that London Taxis tend to be automatics, which all emit well over 225g/km (4) — and they don't have to pay the charge at all!

1. CO2 emissions are not "pollution" and cars that emit more of it are not "dirty". CO2 is like water — a harmless substance essential to plant growth which is part of the natural atmosphere. Both are greenhouse gases, and whatever the alleged effect on climate it is unscientific and misleading to describe either of these substances as "pollution".
2. £25 less 80p is £24.20 extra a day for a resident of the central zone for driving a car with "Band G" emissions (over 225 g/km).
The new BMW X5 3.0D will emit 213 g/km (Autocar report), whereas a 2003 VW Beetle Auto produces 228g/km (SMMT website) — 15 g/km more.
Based on 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, the brand new BMW X5 owning resident will pay £208 per year to drive in London. The owner of a £4000 secondhand VW Beetle Auto will have to pay £6500 — over THIRTY times as much.
If they both do 10km a day inside the zone, the VW Beetle owner will have to pay £161,333 for every extra tonne of CO2 he emits over and above the X5 driver. 228-213=15g/km =150g for 10km = .00015 tonnes. £24.20/.00015 equals £161.333.
The Stern report suggested that £44 per tonne was the justifiable level of taxation to cover the alleged "damage" from carbon dioxide. The VW Beetle owner is therefore paying 3666 times this amount for his extra emissions over and above a BMW X5.
3. The ABD would like to point out that newer versions of the VW Beetle all emit under 225 g/km
4. LTI TXII Auto taxi — emission rated at 243 g/km on www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk
5. Porsche Judicial Review

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