"Missed opportunity" for greening of company car taxes

A reform of the tax system for company cars proposed by the Inland Revenue on 30 July is expected to give a modest boost to more fuel efficient and less polluting vehicles.1 But environmentalists claim the proposals are a missed opportunity to achieve a full "greening" of the taxation arrangements.

The tax treatment of company cars has been criticised for many years as promoting excessive use of private transport and its associated environmental ill-effects. Since company cars were introduced in the late 1960s, primarily as a means of avoiding pay freezes, the number on the road has grown to almost two million.

Taxation of the private benefits provided by company cars has increased in recent years. The system is based on "scale char

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