Taxi tax break for electric vehicles hailed a victory by Ilford North MP

Black cab driver, Evan Walters of Sackville Gardens, Ilford driving Ilford North MP Wes streeting

Black cab driver, Evan Walters of Sackville Gardens, Ilford driving Ilford North MP Wes streeting - Credit: Archant

Black cab drivers who purchase new, electric taxis after April will save £1,550.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, fought for cabbies to be exempt from a luxury tax which sees motor owners pay a Vehicle Excise Duty charge on cars worth more than £40,000.

The Treasury brought forward the tax break by a year - to help black cab drivers make the switch from old diesel engines to zero-emission taxis- after considering views from campaigners.

If just one driver makes the change, it would rid the country of seven tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and with over 75,000 black cabs operating in England, the impact on the environment would be significant.

“This is a victory for campaigners for common sense and I welcome the announcement that the supplement for luxury cars will no longer apply to the new electric capable taxi,” said MP Streeting, who is also chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis.

“This is a measure that will help save cabbies who buy the new vehicle £1,550 – helping the trade do its bit in reducing air pollution.

“This measure is a step in the right direction by the government which has cross-party support, and I thank Ministers for their constructive approach.”

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Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said the government is backing black cab drivers to go green.

“This is a victory for the environment and new technologies, which I am determined to support as we build an economy fit for the future,” he said.

“Ensuring the air in our bustling towns and cities is free from pollution is part of our quest to become the first government to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) CEO, Chris Gubbey said he is delighted that the Treasury has brought forward previously announced changes but a small number of drivers who already own the vehicle or are expecting to take delivery in March will still have to pay an additional £310 charge.

“LEVC will compensate these drivers to ensure they are not penalised for being the first to make the transition to a cleaner vehicle.”

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