EDITOR’S COMMENT: The government’s own analysis has shown that encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles is going to cost £40 billion! So the government is planning on introducing “road charges” to plug the black hole. This is outrageous! Please sign our petition and say NO to road charges!
Rishi Sunak is considering plans to charge motorists for using Britain’s roads amid concerns over a £40 billion tax shortfall created by the switch to electric cars. A Treasury paper on a new national road pricing scheme has been presented to the chancellor. The government will announce this week that a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, which forms part of the prime minister’s ten-point plan on climate change, will be brought forward to 2030.
Downing Street wants to seize the initiative after days of damaging briefings between allies of Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings and his fiancée, Carrie Symonds. A series of “reset” announcements are planned, including on mass Covid testing in the run-up to Christmas and initiatives to improve skills training and education investment.
Downing Street said that Mr Johnson wanted to send a “clear signal” of his ambitions and emphasised that his focus on “levelling up” the country had not changed. Today he had been due to meet northern Conservative MPs to assure them that Mr Cummings’s departure would not divert his focus from building their economies.
“Millions of people in the north and Midlands want to tackle climate change,” a government source said. “It’s offensive to suggest that they don’t care about these issues.”
Mr Sunak is said to be “very interested” in the idea of a national road pricing scheme despite concerns in the Treasury about the cost of the green agenda, including that revenues from fuel duty, one of the government’s largest revenue earners, are set to vanish.
A government source said that the issue was “increasingly pressing”, adding that the Treasury had drawn up an analysis outlining potential options for a national road pricing scheme. The source said that a scheme was not “imminent” but that plans were being developed as the government considered how to hit its target of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050.
The rise in popularity of electric cars could leave the Treasury with a £40 billion funding gap.