‘Retrospective’ road tax plans attacked by MPs

MPs have attacked plans to introduce a road tax which will see millions of drivers landed with backdated car tax increases of up to £245.

A report from the Commons environmental audit committee has condemned the fact that there is no evidence that the backdated taxes – which are supposed to promote green cars – will lead to reductions of CO2 emissions from second-hand vehicles.

Three out of every four cars bought in the UK are second-hand, so the new tax proposals are likely to have a big effect on the used car industry.

The Tories believe that almost 400,000 car owners earning less than £15,000 a year will be hit by the new taxes, although the cross-party report does broadly support the policy – which is due to be phased in from next April, with the biggest changes coming in from 2010.

Tory Graham Stuart and Liberal Democrats Martin Horwood and Jo Swinson refused to back the findings and took the highly unusual step of issuing their own minority report which argued that the taxes should be frozen "until the financial and environmental impacts are properly assessed".

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