Greener cars deserve fairer taxes

* Average new car emissions improving * SMMT demands fair taxes * Diesel surcharge in SMMTs sights...

Greener cars deserve fairer taxes

New cars are greener than ever, and deserve a fairer deal from the Chancellor.

Thats the verdict of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The industry body has written to the government to press its case, pointing out that average new car carbon dioxide emissions have fallen 13% since 1997.

We have made significant improvements in reducing CO2 emissions and transformed the environmental impact of our products, said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. New vehicles are cleaner, safer and more secure than the models they replace. It is important that government understands these achievements and works with us to deliver fair tax measures.

The 3% company car tax surcharge for diesels, which even applies to models meeting the super-clean Euro 5 emissions standard, is one quirk of the tax system the SMMT believes is unfair and ought to be scrapped.

In its letter, the SMMT has reminded the government that manufacturers, motorists and transport companies pay 45 billion in taxes each year, and that fuel costs have increased by 20% in the past 12 months alone.