Drivers Could Soon Be Charged To Use Roads
Rishi Sunak is contemplating new plans which would see motorists charged for using roads, according to new reports.
The Chancellor, 40, is mulling over the plans after the economy is facing a £40 billion tax shortfall due to the rising popularity of electric cars.
Sunak is "very interested" in a national road pricing scheme, but it is unclear how the charges would be calculated, according to The Times newspaper.
The scheme would overhaul the current road system. As it stands, the UK only has one major toll road - the M6 Toll in the West Midlands. Drivers may also face levies when using particular tunnels and bridges.
Motorists pay 57.95p in fuel duty for each litre of petrol and diesel. This figure has been frozen since March 2011.
Although it seems a miniscule amount, fuel duty brings in a staggering £28 billion a year - which amounts to 1.3 per cent of the national income.
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However, there is set to be a proposed ban on new petrol and diesel cars as soon as 2030 as part of efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
But while electric vehicles are good for the environment, they may cause funding issues for the UK economy.
President of the AA, Edmund King, said of the news: "The Government can't afford to lose £40bn from fuel duty and car tax when the electric revolution arrives.
"It is always assumed that Road Pricing would be the solution but that has been raised every five years since 1964 and is still perceived by most as a 'poll tax on wheels'."
King's proposed solution is to offer drivers an allowance of 3000 miles a year free of charge, with any additional mileage potentially being subject to a fee.
The Labour government initially backed plans for a national road pricing strategy, but abandoned plans after a petition opposing the idea reached 1.8 million signatures.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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