An Taisce calls on Noonan to tax diesel to encourage use of electric cars

They also want him to change Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

An Taisce calls on Noonan to tax diesel to encourage use of electric cars

New cars awaiting distribution at a facility off the Naas Road in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

An Taisce has called on Minister Noonan to tax dirty diesel and change VRT to encourage the use of electric cars.

According to An Taisce "The diesel emissions scandal, which started with Volkswagen, is now sweeping across the entire motor industry, with Renault, and Fiat Chrysler among the latest big names to be accused of cheating emissions tests.

"What this proves, once and for all, is that diesel engines are too dirty – and dangerous to human health – to be allowed to continue to enjoy low tax rates (11% less than petrol) and cheaper prices at the pumps."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan missed the opportunity in the 2017 Budget to increase duties on diesel so that it was at least as expensive per litre as petrol.

Diesel exhaust fumes are rated by the World Health Organisation as carcinogenic. These fumes contain a toxic mix of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter and carbon monoxide.

Charles Stanley-Smith of An Taisce said "We welcome moves by the US Environmental Protection Agency to begin criminal proceedings against named individuals within Volkswagen who allegedly conspired to fit illegal ‘cheat’ devices to cars to enable them to pass emissions tests.

"These are not victimless crimes. Millions of people worldwide, and thousands here in Ireland, are having their health destroyed and lives ended prematurely as a result of these appalling corporate deceptions.

"The fact that Volkswagen labelled these cars ‘clean diesel’ while knowing this to be completely false is further evidence that criminal behaviour can only be addressed with criminal sanctions,"