Budget legislation on “Chelsea tractors” will hit horticulturists who need the vehicles for their work, say industry analysts.
Chancellor Gordon Brown increased duty on vehicles that emit more than 225g of carbon dioxide per km from £165 to £210 in last week’s budget.
Consultant John Adlam said: “Legislation on large-engined 4x4 vehicles is quite a heavy burden on those who need one for horticulture purposes, for instance towing, delivering plants and getting staff around in wet conditions. They will be penalised by a tax designed to discourage people from buying Chelsea tractors. Some of us have to use these as part of our work. Why should we be penalised? This is an unnecessary burden.”
NFU president Peter Kendall said an exemption should be made for those who use 4x4s for their livelihood.
HTA director general David Gwyther said: “It’s a silly political move, which hasn’t been properly considered and will sweep up all those people who previously needed 4x4s for horticulture purposes.”
But the Green Party said: “Banding of vehicle excise duty is gesture politics in response to the growth in the number of SUVs. The new top rate of £210 is only £45 more than the existing maximum.
“It’s about half a tank of fuel and will be no deterrent to drivers. The Government’s Sustainable Development Commission reckoned a difference of at least £300 was needed to make a real difference.”
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