Budget hits gas guzzlers and helps green cars

LONDON Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:50pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor Alistair Darling hit out at gas guzzling vehicles and gave a boost to low emission cars in his first budget on Wednesday.

The measures were part of a raft of small green steps designed to sell the budget as good for the environment.

"I am proposing a major reform to Vehicle Excise Duty to encourage manufacturers to produce cleaner cars and by introducing new bands, there will be an incentive to encourage drivers to choose the least polluting car," Darling told parliament.

"And as a second stage for new cars, from April 2010 there will be a new first-year rate based on carbon dioxide emissions of the car. Cars that emit less than the proposed 130 grams per kilometre European standard of carbon dioxide emissions will pay no car tax at all in the first year. But a higher first year rate will be introduced on the most polluting cars."

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