Transport policy and transport tax reform

Potter, Stephen and Parkhurst, Graham (2005). Transport policy and transport tax reform. Public Money and Management, 25(3) pp. 171–178.



We are now entering a new phase of transport policy fiscal instruments. Rather than reforming existing measures, the UK and several other countries are moving towards replacing the whole transport taxation regime. This article reviews the ways that car taxation is used internationally to promote fuel economy, cleaner fuels and reduce traffic growth. Fiscal measures to manage traffic growth in the UK have faced political difficulties and, since 2000, have given way to a somewhat random set of policy decisions, together with a shift in focus towards the dominant issue of congestion reduction. An eventual replacement of existing car taxation measures with a new national road user charging regime is now contemplated, but there is a danger that the confusion in purpose that now characterizes transport taxation policy could be carried over to the new regime.

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