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Support for Motorists

Volume 745: debated on Thursday 8 February 2024

The Government are helping low-income motorists by keeping down the cost of motoring. There has been no increase in fuel duty since January 2011, 13 years ago. Furthermore, recognising the fuel price volatility after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, we cut 5p from fuel duty in March 2022. This was extended for another year in March 2023. This cut, along with the inflation freeze, has saved the average car driver around £100 this year.

I thank my hon. Friend for his answer. Months after the Mayor of London’s ULEZ expansion came into effect, some of Uxbridge and South Ruislip’s most hard-working and least well-off residents continue to be penalised by it. As part of the Government’s work to help motorists, will he commit to continuing to work with me and colleagues from across outer London to ensure that we are doing all we can to lessen the financial burden on all motorists?

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that matter. I am very sorry to hear about the burden that the Mayor of London has forced on the poorest motorists in London, particularly when we hear that his scrappage scheme is underfunded and slow to process payments. This is a direct consequence of a Labour Mayor who did not keep his word to Londoners. The only remedy for Londoners is to vote him out and vote in Susan Hall in May.

We need to incentivise people from all incomes to participate in the green transition. However, electric vehicles are totally out of reach for most car owners, especially those on low incomes. In addition, people who rely on public charging points are still paying a lot more than those who can charge from home. Will the Government close this gap to ensure that everybody is getting a fair deal, including those on low incomes, to make sure that we get to net zero? Those on low incomes also want to help the country get to net zero.

I thank the hon. Member for her question. It is my responsibility to help roll out electric vehicles. We introduced the zero emission vehicle mandate to ensure that 22% of vehicle sales this year are zero emission. I should say that, throughout the life cycle of an electric vehicle, they are cheaper than petrol or diesel cars to drive. This Government have given £2 billion-worth of support to owners of electric vehicles and to charge point companies to help smooth that introduction. The specific question that she raises is about VAT, and that is a matter for the Treasury.