HL Deb 19 March 1985 vol 461 c540WA
Lord Harris of High Cross

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why several categories of vehicles operated by local authorities are exempt from excise duty under the Act of 1971.

Lord Brabazon of Tara

The Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971 specifically exempts three classes of local authority vehicles from payment of VED: those kept for fire brigade purposes, watering vehicles, and tower wagons. The two latter are used solely to maintain the roads, and it has long been held that it would be circular to charge VED on easily distinguishable vehicles whose operation forms part of highway costs. Local authority fire brigade vehicles have remained exempt since 1920, when it seems likely they were excluded for humanitarian reasons.