Sunday 20 June 2021

Kilometre tax should be graded to promote greener cars, says auto lobby

Car use has increased in recent years. Photo:

Car owners should be taxed by the kilometre using a scale that charges less for low-emissions vehicles, under a plan put forward by the auto industry on Wednesday.

Motoring organisations such as the ANWB want the so-called ‘kilometre levy’, an idea first proposed by Wim Kok’s cabinet in the 1990s, to be structured so that it promotes sustainable transport without imposing high costs on drivers.

The plan, also supported by Bovag, lease companies and the sustainability lobby group Natuur en Milieu, says the tax should be brought in in 2030. In the meantime there should be subsidies and other incentives for motorists to switch to cleaner petrol or electric cars.

Supporters say the measure is necessary if the Netherlands is to meet the European commission’s target of cutting pollution from emissions by 55% from 1990 to 2030. In recent years car usage has been on the increase in the Netherlands, leading to higher pollution.

Previous proposals for kilometre taxes have been resisted by the right-wing liberal VVD party and the Christian Democrats, both of which are likely to join the next coalition, but the VVD has been more receptive to the idea in recent years.

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