Plans to charge drivers per mile across UK played down by Transport Sec | The Sun

PLANS to charge drivers to pay per mile have been slapped down by the Transport Secretary today.

Mark Harper played down reports that ministers were "looking at" the idea of drivers paying per mile to replace taxes for the Treasury.

It would mean drivers would have to pay tax based on how much they drive on public roads – whacking rural drivers and White Van Man in the pocket.

As millions of Brits swap from petrol and diesel cars to electric, ministers are looking how to plug a £5billion a year black hole in the public finances to fill which comes from fuel duty taxes.

One senior government source told The Sunday Times:  "We will have to have a national conversation about how we replace that lost revenue in due course.

"Road pricing is only one of a lot of different options [but] that's one we are looking at."

In 2021 a whopping 59 per cent of journeys in Britain were made by car.

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Last month's Autumn Statement saw Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirm that electric cars would have to pay road taxes in future in a bid to level the playing field.

But Government insiders last night insisted there were no current plans to bring forward road pricing right now.

Tony Blair was forced to backtrack on similar plans when he was PM.

Mr Harper told TimesRadio that "no decisions had been taken in government" about the issue and there were "no plans along those lines being worked on at the moment".

At the moment, car drivers pay tax when they fill their cars at petrol stations. 

For every litre of petrol or diesel they buy, around 55p goes to the government. 

But because petrol and diesel cars are being slowly replaced by electric cars, the amount of tax going to the Treasury will fall.

The Sun understands that the Transport Secretary wants to bin proposals for controversial road pricing altogether.

A source close to Mr Harper said: "He hates the idea – and after putting VED tax on electric cars, the playing field is already being levelled.

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"We might find that the team tasked with working on this are quietly found something else to do instead."

An HM Treasury spokesperson said: “We do not comment on speculation around tax changes outside of fiscal events.”

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