It wasn't really a surprise, but it still generates anger. Its the slyness of it that narks me - and the devious way in which public sympathy for protecting our environment was twisted by the Chancellor to disguise a huge tax increase. The case for change was that the car tax burden should be transferred from high carbon emission vehicles to low carbon ones. Who could argue with that. Well actually I was not at all happy with it, without some sort of 'essential user' allowance. But that's another point. This post is about the Government 'sneaky' doubling of the total tax take from vehicle excise licences to £4 billion. Turns out that it wasn't a tax switch at all, except in a minor peripheral way. It was a straight forward huge stealth tax increase on car owners. So its a big thank you to Justine Greening for asking the questions which exposed just what the Gordon Brown's Government is up to.
There is also a 'ticking time bomb' aspect to this which hasn't received much comment. The car tax switch was announced in the recent budget, and generally welcomed because it was thought to be a rational and cash neutral proposal to help the environment. A bit like the 10p tax band abolition, there is going to be a backlash when the public wake up to what's happening. Another interesting aspect of this is that the biggest losers are not going to be the most wealthy. And we know what happened the last time that Gordon Brown tried to raise taxes on the less wealthy.