16 May 2008.
For immediate release.

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Has Angela Eagle Misled Parliament On Vehicle Excise Duty?
ABD Analyzes Treasury Claims about VED
In a recent debate between Angela Eagle and Shadow Treasury Minister Justine Greening, Angela Eagle responded to an accusation by Greening that the new VED (car tax) regime was hitting families with the following:
"Drivers of 24 of the 30 most popular cars in the UK will pay less, or no more VED, as a result of these changes. Popular versions of cars that will pay less include the Ford Focus, the Renault Clio, the Vauxhall Astra and the Citroen Xsara Picasso. This is not an attack on the family car." 1
According to figures from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders) 2:
 
All models of Citroen Xsara Picasso except the 1.6 diesel face huge hikes in VED:
• All petrol manual models rise from a current £170 to £260.
• All automatic models (a popular model for some disabled drivers) rise from £210 to a whopping £300.
• The 2.0 diesel remains unchanged at £120.
• The ONLY model to go down is the 1.6 diesel from £120 to £110, a negligible drop.
 
All petrol Ford Focuses face higher VED. All Diesel Focuses stay the same. (Note: Where two figures are given it is due to model variations):
• The 1.4 petrol goes from £145 to £150/£175.
• The 1.6 petrol goes from £145/£170 to £150/£175.
• The 1.8 from £170 to £175/£260 and 2.0 from £170/210 to £175/£300.
• Petrol automatics rise from £210 to £260 or £300
(ST performance model not included in calculations)
 
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
“This looks to be a clear case of misleading parliament and the public. The question now has to be whether HM Treasury knew that older family cars would be affected and hoped nobody would notice, or they have made a 'mistake' even more incredible that the 10p tax debacle and hadn't even realised that older car emissions data is different to new car data. Certainly Ms Eagle's statement appears to reflect either deviousness or gross incompetence. The public deserves an explanation.”
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“These are not even large family cars. The rises for real family cars such as Mondeos, Lagunas, Galaxies, Zafiras and Vectras are even worse. We haven't even touched upon the 4x4s that many drivers own, and for many road users 4x4 models are essential, to navigate either rural roadways or pot-holed urban roads. Government ministers must inhabit a different world where everybody chooses a brand new car every few years and doesn't have to consider the resale value. They either haven't thought about the implications for the older car owner or they simply don't care.”

 
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 
1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080514/debtext/80514-0020.htm
 
2. http://www.smmtco2.co.uk/co2search2.asp

 
 
Notes for Editors about the ABD