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SMMT urges caution in pre-Budget submission

In its submission to HM Treasury, ahead of the Chancellor's pre-Budget report in December, the SMMT has sounded a word of caution concerning motoring taxes. Amid growing reports of the rising costs of motoring and the importance of reduced CO2 emissions, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders urged the Chancellor not to de-stabilise the trend towards cleaner cars by over-taxing the motorist in the upcoming report.

”The motor industry is committed to reducing CO2 emissions in line with environmental objectives, and has made tremendous progress in the development and introduction of new technologies. To be successful in the long-term, government must deliver clear incentives to motorists in order to increase the take-up of cleaner fuels and 'greener' technologies,' commented SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.

He added, “There is a danger of undermining the progress that has been made in reducing average car emissions by attempting to increase revenue. Government should allow the new tax systems to be properly evaluated before further changes are made.”

SMMT, which represents more than 600 companies in the automotive sector, identified the following issues for consideration by the Chancellor in his pre-Budget report:

- Company car taxation; government should refrain from further changes until the Inland Revenue has completed a full evaluation of the system.

- Fuel duties; to encourage the take-up and availability of zero-sulphur fuels, government must increase its duty differential of 0.5 pence/litre for zero sulphur fuels.

- Vehicle Excise Duty (VED); further changes will be an unnecessary burden on the motorist.

- First registration fees; the SMMT repeats its opposition to the planned 52% increase.

- UK manufacturing; SMMT is committed to highlighting the need to stop any further business tax increases and regulatory burdens.

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