Roads Minister Jesse Norman has today unveiled changes to the Heavy Goods Vehicle Levy, which Government says will result in the cleanest lorries paying less to use UK roads.
From February 2019, lorries meeting the latest Euro VI emissions standards will be eligible for a 10% reduction in the cost of the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) Levy. Down to £900.
But that also means vehicles not meeting Euro VI standards will face a 20% increase to £1,200.
The Government argues that this will act as an incentive for fleets to use the cleanest lorries which generate 80% less nitrogen emissions than dirtier ones. But the Road Haulage Association says it is dismayed at the decision.
“We’re at a complete loss as to understand Government’s latest decision to inflict yet more pain with another tax hike on hauliers. Road transport operators have made huge strides in adopting cleaner air technologies. Despite this, Government has made it very clear it has no interest in either acknowledging that progress, or in supporting the industry on its journey to an emissions-free future,” said RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett.
“Of course, we all want clean air,” continued Burnett. “But we consider it grossly unfair that Government uses clean air policies to justify squeezing money out of already cash-strapped hauliers to plug financial gaps elsewhere. Where is the incentive? What’s needed is a realistic scrappage scheme that supports our industry during this transition, not a penal approach.”
Initially brought in after a consultation in 2012, the HGV Road User Levy is a relatively new tax designed to make sure HGVs contribute an appropriate amount to account for the greater wear and tear they cause on the UK’s roads. Now the government admits its objective is to incentivise the use of newer cleaner technology.
“This government is committed to improving the air we breathe and delivering a green revolution in transport. Heavy goods vehicles account for around a fifth of harmful nitrogen oxide emissions from road transport, but they only travel 5% of the total miles. That’s why we’re changing the HGV levy to encourage firms to phase out the most polluting lorries and bring in the cleanest ones,” said Roads Minister Jesse Norman.