Downing Street has opened the door to charging motorists for every mile that they drive, saying the tax system must keep pace with the switch to electric vehicles.
It came after Tony Blair’s think tank warned that billions of pounds of new taxes would be required to fill the possible shortfall created by moving away from petrol and diesel vehicles.
A report published, said that road pricing, under which drivers pay per mile or per minute spent on the roads, could replace the £30 billion revenue generated from motoring taxes every year.
Asked about the think tank’s proposals, Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson didn’t deny the idea and said the Government would set out its own plans in due course, and he said that they wanted to ensure the tax system encouraged the take-up of electric vehicles and that revenue from motoring taxes kept pace with that change.
One Whitehall source said that while officials weren’t yet working proactively on road pricing schemes, there was a circle to be squared there.
The paper, by the Tony Blair Institute For Global Change, urged ministers to explain how they intend to replace current motoring taxes inside a year, warning it may become politically impossible if they delay too long.
But the idea was rejected by motoring groups, with the AA saying a road pricing scheme was likely to backfire because many motorists will see it as a poll tax on wheels.
The group added that motorists should be given a guaranteed free miles allowance before any charges kick in.
In July, the Government unveiled its transport decarbonisation strategy, part of the push to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, but failed to demonstrate how it will close the financial gap created by moving away from fossil fuels.
The Tony Blair Institute report predicts that, by 2040, the Treasury stands to lose as much as £260 billion in revenue without any new taxes.
This would be due largely to the reduction in fuel tax and vehicle excise duty (VED) receipts, both of which fully electric cars are excluded from.
The paper also warns that delaying too long threatens to weaken the Government’s levelling up agenda.
This is because people in the more prosperous South are more inclined to be able to afford the higher upfront costs of electric cars, but will pay next to no tax to use them.
But I worry that in the end, there won’t be half the vehicles on the roads because people are struggling now, never mind heat pumps, and all the rest of the green nonsense they’re attempting to push down our throats, and if this goes through, it will most likely be the well off and elites on the roads, as well as in the air, and Boris Johnson should walk back his world-leading over-optimistic plans and Blair should go somewhere he’s wanted.
This policy will devastate families who live all over the country, and those who have to drive miles to get to work, and families won’t be able to afford to visit, or drive miles to take their children to school or get to work every day.
This is complete garbage, and they shouldn’t be targeting motorists in the first place, which creates a tax deficit bubble. Many people can’t afford an electric vehicle in any part of the country until manufacturer’s start producing smaller electric vehicles, and introducing a price per mile will finish off town centres and shops. It will also drive people out of jobs and it’s just another tax on families.