Government urged to cut diesel tax

Tax on diesel should be cut in order to help save the environment, ministers have been urged.

Lord Broers, former president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said the lowest emission cars that use carbon fuel were those with diesel engines, explaining that emissions were even lower than ones with hybrid systems.

In the House of Lords, the crossbench peer asked whether "pricing and taxation" of the fuel by the Government was appropriate.

He was backed up by Tory peer Baroness O'Cathain, who asked: "Is there not some mechanism whereby you could reduce the taxation on diesel fuel which would actually encourage more people to buy diesel cars instead of petrol cars?"

And Conservative former Cabinet minister Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville put forward the Irish model as an example of flexible taxation, inquiring, if the Irish had no difficulty in taxing unleaded higher than they tax diesel, why was the same freedom not be available to the UK.

Speaking on behalf of the Government, Lord Davies of Oldham said there would be a cost involved in cutting taxes, which would have to be made up by a reduction in expenditure elsewhere.

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