UK government urged to remove stealth diesel tax exemption for commercial second engines

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Almost two thirds (62%) of UK citizens would support a government move to end a stealth tax exemption for diesel used in smaller second engines of commercial vehicles. This is according to the clean cold technology company Dearman.

The survey of 1,000 adults in the UK showed that almost three quarters (72%) are already aware that certain emissions from a diesel engine are much more harmful to people and the environment than emissions from a regular petrol or alternatively powered engine.

As a result, more than two thirds (68%) would support stronger regulation to encourage the uptake of cleaner second engines in commercial vehicles.

Yet, four in five (80%) of respondents to the survey were not even aware of the current government tax exemption for vehicles with second engines, indicating a lack of clarity from the government around the issue.

The results come at a critical time for the UK government, which has long pledged to improve the quality of the UK's air, but has recently been accused by the United Nations of "flouting" its duty to protect its citizens from toxic air pollution.

This sentiment is already being felt among the UK populace, with nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents agreeing that air quality in their area is "poor". Furthermore, more than one in three respondents stated that the poor quality of air in their area raised concerns about their own health and the health of their family and friends.

Scott Mac Meekin, CEO of Dearman, said: "Effectively providing a tax break for dirty fuels that pollute the UK's cities makes absolutely no sense. Any government backing green initiatives must surely see that artificially lowering the price of dirty fuels makes it that much harder to develop clean power that is competitively priced.

"This diesel tax exemption highlights a major lack of clarity from the government to a population that is acutely aware of the dangers of diesel emissions. The public are concerned about their health and are urging the government to take a stronger stance in the fight for cleaner engines."

About the research

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from OnePoll plc. Total sample size was 1,000 adults living in the UK, including 500 adults living in London. Fieldwork was undertaken 21st – 29th August 2017. The survey was carried out online.

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