Wednesday, 20 July 2016

DfT: HGV levy ‘justified’ . . .


DfT: HGV levy ‘justified’

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The transport minister Lord Ahmad has called the HGV road user levy “justified and consistent with the free movement of goods”, following the recent news (Transport Operator, May) that the European Commission had challenged the legality of the tax under EU law.

The Commission’s challenge stems from the fact that the levy de facto only applies to foreign-registered vehicles, since it is offset for most UK fleets by a concurrent reduction in vehicle excise duty. This, it argued, discriminates against non-UK hauliers, thereby violating the principles of the European single market.

Lord Ahmad was responding to a written parliamentary question tabled by Lord Stoddart of Swindon, asking the government whether it planned to contest the Commission’s decision.

“The government considers that the levy is justified and consistent with the free movement of goods, and will respond to the Commission in due course,” said Lord Ahmad.

The Road Haulage Association recently called the Commission’s challenge to the levy “nonsense”.

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