By Marcus Leach
Just days ahead of a vote in Parliament on the subject of fuel taxes, new research from the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) shows for the first time how excessive motoring taxes affect drivers in urban, suburban and rural areas very differently.
With a petition calling for 'cheaper petrol and diesel' securing well over 100,000 signatures, the future of motoring taxes is set to be debated again on 15th November 2011.
Motoring taxes at their current rates cannot be justified by the need for spending on the roads and the contribution of road transport to climate change, according to the TPA.
Those who live in small towns or rural areas, where a car is often the only practical way of getting to work or accessing services, are hit particularly hard by high rates of Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty.
This research note uses census data to reveal how motoring taxes, despite being set nationally, affect motorists in each local authority area very differently.
The key findings of the research are:
- Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty raised £31.5 billion in 2009
- Road spending in 2009-10 was £9.9 billion and the social cost of road transport emissions was £3.5 billion in 2009
- As a result, excess green taxes were £18.1 billion, or £293 per person
- Excess motoring taxes varied starkly between urban areas like Camden, where they were £64 per person, and rural areas like Maldon, where they were £566 per person
- Flintshire drivers pay the most excessive motoring taxes in Wales, £429 per person
- Shetland Island drivers pay the most excessive motoring taxes in Scotland, £566 per person
"British motorists are hit unfairly hard by motoring taxes that are far too high," Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said.
"Families in the suburbs and rural areas suffer the most as driving is so often essential outside city centres. Everything from driving to work, to going to the shops, to getting the kids to school is made much more expensive and that squeezes the budgets of people struggling enough with other pressures on their finances.
"George Osborne should follow up the cut with at least the freeze for the rest of this Parliament that the public have demanded. Politicians should stop ripping-off British motorists with the highest taxes on petrol in the EU."
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