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Budget: Tax on red diesel will be blow to railways - Thurso

March 17, 2004 6:22 PM

Commenting on Gordon Brown's announcement that he will freeze rates on air passenger duty and vehicle excise duty, and will increase duty on red diesel by 2.4p per litre, John Thurso MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, said:

"For transport, this budget does little more than tinker with some fuel duties.

"The decision to use taxation to encourage use of low sulphur fuel is welcome, but there is little more.

"The increases in duty on red diesel will be yet another blow to the already struggling railways.

"The Chancellor has missed the opportunity to start tackling the pollution caused by the aviation industry. He should scrap air passenger duty and replace it with a properly targeted charge on individual aircraft. It's time Gordon Brown signed up to the concept that the polluter pays."