The scope and operational details of the lorry road-user charge which was announced in Budget 2002 were confirmed today by John Healey, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and Minister for Transport, John Spellar.
The charge will ensure that all hauliers, irrespective of their nationality, pay their fair share of the costs they impose in driving on UK roads.
The second report on progress announces that the charge will be accompanied by a reduction in fuel duty for hauliers. This will ensure that there will be no increase in the tax burden on the UK haulage industry as a whole when the charge is introduced.
John Healey said: “This report marks real progress towards the introduction of the lorry road-user charge and the reduction in fuel duty for hauliers that will accompany it. The charge will ensure that all hauliers pay towards the costs of using UK roads, regardless of their nationality. We look forward to working with the haulage industry as the project develops.”
John Spellar said: “The lorry road-user charge is a great opportunity for the haulage industry. It will help bring the latest technology into the cabs of the UK’s lorries, offering highly valuable fleet management and navigation benefits.
“We have listened carefully to what hauliers want from this tax modernisation and are developing a scheme that will be both innovative and fair.”
The details announced in the report are that:
— All lorries, regardless of nationality, will have to pay the charge.
— There will be a reduction in fuel duty for hauliers so that there is no increase in the tax burden on the UK haulage industry as a whole when the charge is introduced.
— The charge will be phased in, starting with the heaviest lorries.
Eventually all lorries (i.e. heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes) will pay the charge for distances travelled on all UK roads.
— The Government is considering charging lorries different rates according to whether they are driving on or off motorways.
— Lorries will be encouraged to carry on-board units that calculate the charge and allow Customs and Excise to bill the haulier automatically.
— Lorries without on-board units will be able to pay the charge en route or online.
Notes for editors
1. Subject to discussions with potential suppliers about what can be achieved, and by when, the Government expects to implement the charge around 2006.
2. The text of progress report two can be found at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/Documents/Taxation_Work_and_Welfare/ Tax_and_the_Environment/
3. The road user charge announced today applies to lorries only.
There are no plans to introduce road charging for vehicles other than lorries on the UK road network.
Source: M2 Presswire