Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his Budget speech for 2017 in the House of Commons, and it’s bad news for buyers of new diesels, an increasingly rare breed.
The chancellor also announced as expected that the government would be introducing regulation changes to allow more widespread testing of autonomous cars. ‘The world is on the brink of a technological revolution – either we seize the opportunity or we reject change,’ said the chancellor in his speech.
‘I know that Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like them, but there are other reasons to support them,’ the chancellor quipped. ‘Sorry Jeremy, but definitely not the first time you’ve been snubbed by Hammond and May.’
The tone of the economic message was muted as Hammond announced that the Office of Budget Responsibility was downgrading its growth forecasts for the coming years and that he was putting aside an extra £3bn to cover the cost of Brexit planning – but the speech itself was peppered with bizarre jokes and jibes at opposition MPs as the chancellor tried to strike a jaunty tone to mask the figures.
£400m charging fund to build new sockets, the government is extending its plug-in vehicle grants that contribute £5,000 to the cost of a new EV. The chancellor also said he would clarify the law so that people who charge their EVs at work won’t face benefit-in-kind charges from 2018.
Diesel tax rate
From April 2018 the first year VED rate for diesel cars will go up by one band, and the company car tax rate will go up by 1 percent if the diesels emit more than 80mg/km of NOx in the real world driving emissions test.
The chancellor said that the extra revenue gained from the tax increases would be spent on air quality improvement schemes around the country.
In a surprise move, the chancellor said that he would be freezing the planned fuel duty rise in April 2018 for both diesel and petrol vehicles, where early reports suggested that he would use a rise in duty on diesel to try and convince drivers to switch to fuels with lower emissions.