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Budget 2017: What does the diesel change mean?
The sale of new diesel cars that do not meet latest emissions standards will face a one-off tax increase in April. It will be levied on all diesels that do not meet the Real Driving Emissions Step 2 standards on emissions for the first year of ownership. According to experts, it means that most new diesels would be subject to the rise. Chancellor Philip Hammond said the tax change would apply only to cars, and “white van man” was unaffected.
Different rates of Vehicle Excise Duty will be levied according to a car’s CO2 emissions band. A Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Astra would see a one-off £20 rise and a Land Rover Discovery a £400 increase. Cars in the top band, such as a Porsche Cayenne, would be hit with a £500 tax. The chancellor said: “Drivers buying a new car will be able to avoid this charge as soon as manufacturers bring forward the next-generation cleaner diesels that we all want to see.
Budget 2017: Philip Hammond hopes to prove grim forecasts wrong
Philip Hammond says he hopes to prove the bleak economic forecasts released in his Budget wrong. The chancellor said clarity around Brexit would increase consumer confidence and lead to higher growth in the economy. But a new report has warned of the longest fall in people’s living standards since records began over 60 years ago. Labour said Mr Hammond was “cut-off from the real lives of people”. The reduced growth forecasts, blamed on the economy’s flat productivity, threatened to overshadow a series of announcements in the Budget.
Christmas fraud: Mobiles and clothes top presents targeted
People are being urged to beware of fake products and websites in the run-up to Christmas. Offers for mobile phones, clothes, shoes and jewellery are the most likely to be fraudulent, according to the Action Fraud group. Along with City of London police, it is appealing to people to give more thought to where they source presents. In 2016, it is estimated that nearly £16 million was lost to Christmas shopping fraud. Common items reported to the agency include fake Yeezy trainers, Kylie Jenner make-up, hair dryers, drones and Fitbit watches.
Economists warn Budget measures to lift productivity fall short
New measures aimed at fixing the UK’s productivity woes are not far reaching enough to fix Britain’s deep seated problems, economists said on Wednesday. Labour productivity growth has slowed across the developed world since the financial crisis, but the deceleration in the UK has been sharper than in any other G7 nation. In spite of the measures announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in his Budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility cut its forecast for growth in productivity, or output per hour worked.
Carmakers cut back after sales dip
Car industry production forecasts for the year have been lowered as sales of British-built cars within the UK fell for the ninth month this year. Latest figures showed domestic demand for cars coming out of British factories fell 2.9 per cent in October, highlighting how UK manufacturers are being hurt by the sharpening decline in new car sales, with new registrations sliding by 12 per cent last month. That decline has helped to send production levels down by 1.6 per cent in the year to date, and prompted the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders to cut its output forecast for the year from 1.8 million to 1.73 million — similar to the record achieved in 2016. The SMMT earlier this year abandoned its claims that it expected production from British car factories to rise to 2 million by the end of the decade and break the 1972 record high of 1.92 million.
Relief greets fuel duty freeze
Fuel duty was frozen for the eighth year in a row yesterday as the Treasury claimed that it had saved the average motorist £850. An expected rise in tax on petrol and diesel was cancelled as part of measures designed to ease the burden on workers. The RAC and AA welcomed the freeze, but some industry figures insisted that Philip Hammond should have cut fuel duty. The RAC called on the chancellor to commit to no rises for the next five years. Fuel duty adds 57.95p per litre to the price of petrol and diesel. The government repeatedly cancelled Labour’s plans to raise it year-on-year. Mr Hammond said that the freeze was the longest in 40 years, costing total of £46 billion.
Nearly three million diesel car drivers hit by new ‘green’ taxes
Nearly three million diesel car drivers will be hit with new “green taxes” from next year under new measures to phase out the vehicles in yesterday’s Budget. The new higher taxes will affect around 800,000 drivers of diesel company cars and 2 million buyers of new diesel cars from April next year, the Treasury said. It is an extension of the Government’s plan to improve air quality by discouraging people from buying diesel cars which pollute the air with harmful fumes. Drivers who choose to buy new diesel cars which do not meet the latest emissions standards will be charged a one-off levy through being forced into a higher vehicle exercise duty band.
Treasury backs electric cars but makes limited moves on diesel
Electric cars have received a funding boost with the government earmarking £340m for a national charging network and subsidies for vehicle purchases. However, further budget backing for greener vehicles was limited to a small rise in vehicle excise duty for new diesel cars that fail to meet rigorous emissions standards – disappointing campaigners who had hoped for a rise in fuel duty or a diesel scrappage scheme. The government will contribute £200m to a £400m fund to upgrade the electric car-charging infrastructure, as well as setting aside a further £40m for research and development into charging technology. The chancellor committed a further £100m to maintain a car-buying subsidy until 2020, which contributes up to £4,500 towards the cost of buying an electric vehicle. There are 115,000 electric cars in the UK and 13,000 charging points spread across 4,500 locations.