Alistair Darling has hit motorists hard in his first budget as chancellor and he is justifying his swingeing tax and fuel duty hikes as ‘cracking down on pollution’.Even though the chancellor delayed the 2 pence per litre increase in fuel duty due to be imposed in April until October, it is only temporary respite for motorists who have seen fuel prices soar in recent months. In addition to increasing running costs, many motorists face higher-than-inflation duty charges on their vehicles as Darling aims to penalise the highest polluting drivers.The existing emission bands have been re-classified and the new highest – band M – will contain vehicles that emit over 255g of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven. From April next year, owners of vehicles in that band – so-called gas guzzlers – will pay £440 per year to tax their cars. To make matters worse for those drivers, from April 2010 purchasers of brand new band M vehicles will pay an increased first year duty of £950, which will then be reduced to £445 in subsequent years.Of course, the flip side of such draconian tax increases means that if you are happy to pay the new duty, you will be able… Read full this story
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