New Prime Minister should introduce ‘immediate tax holiday’ to avoid ‘alienating’ drivers

GMB: Ed Balls clashes with Jonathan Bartley over fuel duty cuts

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Hugo Griffiths, consumer editor at carwow, has urged Conservative leadership candidates to recognise how vital cars are to people up and down the country. He has also called on the Government to stop making transport policies that don’t reflect how people in the UK really live.

Griffiths calls for the successful Conservative Party leadership candidate to consider introducing a road tax holiday to help motorists struggling with the cost of living crisis. 

He also says that in order to meet the Government target to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, more needs to be done to make EVs a viable option for the average motorist.

He said: “The five pence-per-litre fuel duty cut of March was well-intentioned, but market volatility meant many motorists felt little impact from it. 

“Giving drivers a 12-month payment holiday from Vehicle Excise Duty would be a more direct saving, and one that could be means tested so those who pay the £355 ‘luxury car’ road tax supplement are ineligible for the cut.”

At the beginning of the year, drivers saw prices as low as 145.67p for petrol and 149.03p for diesel.

Since then, many contributing factors have forced the price up, despite intervention from the Government with the 5p fuel duty cut.

He added: “On a broader level, the next Prime Minister needs to bear in mind that 36 million people hold driving licences, and 78 percent of households have at least one car.  

“‘Motorist’ is therefore effectively synonymous with ‘voter’, and for too long voters have been made to feel guilty for using their cars when public transport is either ruinously expensive, or simply non-existent.

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“Lofty Government ambitions, such as the one that half of all urban journeys should be walked or cycled by 2030, bear little resemblance to a wet Wednesday afternoon in November when parents are trying to transport primary-school children from one end of town to the other. 

“Drivers are also understandably concerned about the affordability of EVs as we edge closer to 2030 and 2035. 

“Rather than cut incentives, as was done recently with the winding up of the £1,500 Plug-in Car Grant, the next PM should turn to Germany, where a combination of Government and manufacturer incentives contribute up to €9,000 (£7,626) towards the cost of a new electric car.

A number of the candidates have already pledged to help with rising motoring costs if they are elected leader. 

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Before he withdrew, Sajid Javid promised to cut fuel duty by 10p, and Penny Mordaunt has pledged to cut VAT on fuel by an enormous 50 percent. 

Griffiths believes the next PM needs to take a more radical and honest approach to transport. 

He added: “Not properly addressing soaring fuel prices and the looming ban on new cars with internal combustion engines serves only to alienate drivers from those elected to govern us. 

“Cutting VAT on electric cars costing less than £40,000 is one thing that could be considered, while public discussions about how we will replace the £28billion of fuel duty petrol and diesel cars bring in each year also need to begin in earnest.”

According to a FairFuel UK survey, 83 percent of its members wanted the new Prime Minister to cut fuel duty by at least 20p per litre.

The second most popular response was to cut VAT by half on all fuels, which attracted the support of 80 percent of members.

Other responses included scrapping the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars as well as introducing a fuel pump price watchdog.

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