Conservatives and LibDems call for taxes to discourage carbon emissions

Sat 10 July 2004 View all news

Shadow Environment and Transport Secretary Tim Yeo says that the Conservative Party would like to see stronger tax incentives used to encourage people to drive less polluting cars.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Mr Yeo said: "I am not against people driving. I want them to be free to drive if they want to do so, but I want them to use greener fuels and drive greener cars and the tax system is the most powerful weapon to get them to do so.

"We think you can use different types of tax at different stages in a vehicle's life to send that signal."

The Conservatives have floated the idea, for example, of charging differential rates of VAT depending on the carbon performance of new vehicles.

During a debate at the Liberal Democrats party conference, Environment Spokesman Norman Baker also indicated his party's support for a strengthening of environmental taxation.

Under LibDem plans, environmental and economic policy would be brought together and polluters would be made to pay. It would become relatively cheaper, for example, for people who drive smaller cars."We need to put the environment at the heart of the Treasury," he said.

Mr Baker added: 'We need to have a Prime Minister who cares, and a Chancellor who is green not Brown.'


Related Links

Tories consider differential VAT for new cars - Times article
Lib Dems and environment taxation - EDIE article

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