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Heavy Lorries (Taxation)

Volume 32: debated on Thursday 25 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps have been taken since 24 June on measures to ensure that, in order to cover allocated road track costs, heavy lorries are integrated into the taxation system to a degree commensurate with their road usage and contribution to extra road maintenance.

Our policy is that all groups of lorries should pay in taxation for the wear and tear they cause to the roads. Taken as a whole, lorries more than cover these costs but the heaviest groups fall short. On 1 October I implemented a major reform of heavy lorry taxation. This changed the basis of vehicle excise duty from unladen weight to gross weight, and on heavier groups also takes account of the number of axles. This will enable a closer match to be made between the road costs of different groups of lorries and the tax paid. Tax rates on the proposed new heavier lorries will be for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to decide, but we have made it clear that from the outset they will pay their full track costs.