The rural economy experts say that the additional Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) announced at the last Budget mean those who are struggling financially in the countryside will be hit hardest by the tax.
The CLA still believes it should be entirely rurally proofed with a rural tax credits system in England and Wales – regardless of what concessions the Government ends up making to Britain’s hard-hit motorists as a whole.
CLA Wales Director Julian Salmon said: "If you are, say, an uplands farmer and struggling financially, Chancellor Alistair Darling’s suggestion that you avoid higher Vehicle Excise Duty by buying a new car is clearly ludicrous.
"As the Commission for Rural Communities pointed out in its Monitoring Rural Proofing report last year, the Government made a ‘clear and continuing commitment to rural proof its policies and programmes’ eight years ago but that commitment is ‘not being delivered consistently’. We believe a rural proofing system with rural tax credits to off-set extra VED costs is the fairest answer to this problem for people working in the rural economy."
Julian Salmon added: "The proposed changes in VED represent an ill-advised tax and would hit many in the countryside very hard indeed. Furthermore, it is not even green. The proposals would not make a substantial difference to CO2 emissions. Indeed, Greenpeace has described it as ‘the kind of measure that gives green taxes a bad name’."
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