Charge motorists per mile, says IFS
Motorists should be charged for every mile they drive as a way of cutting petrol prices and reducing traffic jams, an influential think tank says in a report today.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) argues there is a compelling case for making a switch from motoring taxes to a system of national road pricing. Such a shift would be highly controversial, but it could be used to encourage drivers to avoid the busiest times and routes by varying the amount they are charged for making journeys.
The IFS also warns that the amount collected from fuel duties and road tax is likely to decline, from £38bn a year now to the equivalent of £25bn in 2029-30, partly as the result of cars becoming more fuel-efficient.
It says the £13bn shortfall would be equivalent to a 3.5p increase in the basic rate of tax, an increase in VAT to nearly 23 per cent or a 50 per cent rise in fuel duties – none of which would be "particularly palatable".
By contrast, the think tank says, road use would be a more sustainable way of raising tax as the total distance driven in Britain annually is forecast to increase from 321 billion miles in 2010 to 396 billion miles by 2030.
"Such a move would generate substantial economic efficiency gains from reduced congestion, reduce the tax levied on the majority of miles driven, leave many [particularly rural] motorists better off, and provide a stable long-term footing for motoring taxes without necessarily raising net additional revenue from drivers," it says.
Life & Style blogs
Guest post by Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Living with Google Glass: what are they actually like to wear?
Microsoft's Xbox One: Have the price (£399) and release date (30 November) been leaked by online retailer Zavvi?
Splint made by 3D printer used to save baby’s life
The 10 Best road-trip gadgets
Google Glass: First images taken on Google's new glasses appear on Twitter
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.