MPs call for road tax to plug fuel duty shortfall

The UK needs to create a new motoring tax to plug the revenue gap as drivers switch to electric cars, MPs have said.

The government should tax motorists based on miles travelled as the use of petrol and diesel vehicles decreases, the Transport Select Committee said.

If no action is taken this year, the UK faces a £35bn “black hole” in its finances, they said.

The Treasury said tax revenues would keep pace with changes prompted by electric vehicle take-up.

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2030 and sales of electric cars are already soaring.

Taken together, vehicle excise duty – better known as “car tax” – and fuel duty that motorists pay at the pump, raise around £35bn a year, but neither tax is levied on pure electric vehicles.

The committee warned there is likely to be no revenue from existing tax sources by 2040.

The MPs said charging people based on how much they drive, using technology to track cars’ movements, should be considered.

Such a scheme could factor in the type of vehicle and congestion, and support vulnerable groups such as those with mobility issues, and people in remote areas, the committee said.

Motorists should pay “the same or less” than they do currently, the MPs said.

Fuel and excise duty must be replaced with new tax, MPs say – BBC News

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UK car output suffers worst October for 65 years

UK car production dropped by more than 40% last month to the lowest level recorded for October since 1956.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the fall was due to “a global shortage of semiconductors which led to production stoppages”.

It added that the decline, compared to last year, was exacerbated by the closure of a Honda plant in Swindon at the end of July.

“These figures are extremely worrying,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

He added that they “show how badly the global semiconductor shortage is hitting UK car manufacturers and their suppliers”.

New cars often include dozens of microchips – also called semiconductors – but a shortage has put pressure on a number of carmakers, who are competing directly with tech companies and the consumer electronics sector for supply.

The UK manufactured 64,729 cars in October, down 41.4% compared with the same month last year. The SMMT said it was the fourth consecutive month of decline.

“Britain’s automotive sector is resilient but with Covid resurgent across some of our largest markets and global supply chains stretched and even breaking, the immediate challenges in keeping the industry operational are immense,” said Mr Hawes.

The shift away from traditional petrol and diesel cars continued, with production of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles comprising 30.9% of all cars made in October.

The SMMT said battery electric vehicle production rose by 17.5% to 8,454 cars.

“So far this year, UK car makers have produced more than 50,000 zero emission vehicles, exceeding the total built in the whole of the pre-pandemic 2019,” it said.

The UK has said it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and hybrids by 2035.

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2021 Budget

Millions of people are set to be worse off next year amid spiralling costs and tax rises, says an economic think tank.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that inflation and higher taxes on incomes would negate small wage increases for middle earners.

Low-income households will also feel “real pain” as the cost of living is set to increase faster than benefit payments, it said.

The chancellor acknowledged in his Budget that families are under strain.

Paul Johnson, director of the IFS, said that “millions will be worse off in the short term” as a result of soaring costs.

On Wednesday, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned that the cost of living could rise at its fastest rate for 30 years.

Its latest forecast predicted that inflation, which measures the change in the cost of living over time, is set to jump from 3.1% to an average of 4% in 2022.

The chancellor said it was because of increased demand for energy and supply chain issues as economies and factories recover from coronavirus curbs.

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West Midlands Gigafactory, the largest in the UK, to secure the British automotive industry’s long-term electric future

West Midlands Gigafactory, a public private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd, has revealed that it will begin supplying high-tech batteries for electric vehicles from 2025.

It will be the result of a £2.5bn investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly and thousands more in the wider supply chain in Coventry and the surrounding region.

The new Gigafactory, which will command over half a million square metres of space – equivalent to 74 full-size football pitches, will be one of the largest single industry facilities of any kind in the UK and at full capacity will be capable of delivering up to 60GWh of production per year.

It will be powered by a planned major boost to the local energy network, giving the Gigafactory access to a 100% renewable electricity supply, from a combination of solar power and grid-supplied renewables. The West Midlands Gigafactory will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones in an industry leading approach known as “cradle to cradle.”

Mike Murray, West Midlands Gigafactory Project Director, said: “The West Midlands Gigafactory has a singular mission to create a state-of-the-art battery gigafactory in the heart of the UK automotive industry. It will provide a huge cash investment in the area, leading to thousands of well-paid jobs and creating crucial new skills for this country.”

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Returning to work after lockdown

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With shops now starting to reopen in England, the number of people returning to work is growing with many people still worrying about contracting Coronavirus once they return to work.  So what can you expect?

Employees should continue to work from home if they are able to do so, but for those who can’t, employers must follow a strict code of measures to ensure the workplace is safe.

  • Observing the 2m (6ft) rule of social distancing
  • Introducing one-way systems to minimise contact
  • Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces in retail environments
  • Storing returned items for 72 hours before returning them to the shop floor

Many people are afraid of using public transport as this may expose them to the risk of being infected.  Therefore, employers are being asked to stagger working hours to allow employees to avoid rush hour.

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