HC Deb 28 February 1997 vol 291 cc405-6W
Mr. David Marshall

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent environmental considerations informed the scale of increase in vehicle fuel taxation in his last budget. [17361]

Mr. Oppenheim

The Government's policy on fuel duties is an important part of their overall environmental policy. The policy of successive UK Governments has been to charge duty on road fuels at rates which will not only raise sufficient revenue but also take account of the need to conserve finite stocks of fossil fuels a protect the general environment.

A commitment to raise road fuel duties by an average of at least 5 per cent. each year in real terms was announced in the 1993 Budget. The aim of these tax rises is to encourage fuel efficiency and to help to control harmful pollution. This will help to reach the Rio convention commitment by returning emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases—methane, nitrous oxide—to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. As a result, pollution from vehicles is already coming down.

In order to encourage the use of high-mileage vehicles in our towns and cities and of more environmentally friendly fuels, two measures were announced: the duty rate of ultra-low sulphur diesel will be reduced by 1p per litre relative to ordinary diesel, when the necessary international agreement is attained. Ultra-low sulphur diesel is cleaner than ordinary diesel, but is slightly more expensive to produce. This measure will encourage the use of ultra-low sulphur diesel. We also announced 25 per cent. reduction in the duty on road fuel gases. This means the duty rate for gas used as road fuel is now 21.13 pence per kilogram—approximately 1.5 litres—compared with 41.68p per litre for leaded petrol and 36.86p per litre for unleaded petrol and diesel road fuel.

Mr. Olner

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the yield in(a) 1994–95 and (b) 1995–96; and what is the estimated yield in 1996–97 from (i) petrol duty, (ii) derv duty, (iii) vehicle excise duty, (iv) VAT on petrol and derv rates and (v) VAT on vehicle sales. [17515]

Mr. Oppenheim

The information requested is shown in the table:

£ billions
1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 (forecast)
petrol duty 9.6 10.1
derv duty 4.4 5.3
Total fuel duties 14.0 5.3 117.4
VED 3.8 4.0 4.3
VAT on fuel duties 2.5 2.7 3.0
VAT on vehicle sales 3.4 3.6 2n/a
1 Petrol and derv forecast receipts are not published separately.
2 Separate forecasts of VAT on vehicle sales are not available.