S.M.M.T. on Vehicle Taxation
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THE S.M.M.T., in view of the invite.
tion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has reconsidered the points concerning vehicle takation which it had already put forward.
New points are as' follow : —An " alteration AD taxation which affects design is extremely serious and it is of great importance that such alterations be infrequent and carefully considered.
The basic method of vehicle taxation should he such that, under changing conditions of home and international demand the maker will be-free to adapt his product to whatever these requirements may be, and not be restricted by conditions applicable only to a particular year or decade.
The manufacturers are opposed to grading otherwise than in small Steps or categories.
An increased fuel tax is open to serious objection of unfair incidence, particularly as regards commercial 'and p.s. vehicles, and would be detrimental to national interests.
As regards p.s. vehicles, utility of the bodies has been restricted by the considerable steps in the present basis of taxation. The amount rises rapidly where the design allows a few extra Seats above any one of ' -the present limits, resulting either•in restriction of seating capacity or unnecessary increase in running cost. The rating should, therefore, be in single-seat steps.
• Concerning goods ' vehicles, the M.O.W.T. was to introduce a plating system to indicate the permitted gross weight, but the war prevented this: The makers would . prefer taxation related to gross weight, but, pending this, they appreciate that the unladenweight basis must remain. They submit, however, that the existing steps are too wide and request that steps of single hundredweights be introduced.
From the point of view of post-war Markets at home and abroad, the dominant factors will be employment. of workers and exports of motor products. The home market may be severely restricted through the higher general taxation, and only by drastic reduction in vehicle running costs can they hope to have a proportionate demand anywhere even comparable to that of their pre-war home market,
Pre-war rates of taxation on vehicles and fuel were too heavy, and this fact will be of even 'more importance after the war, and must be eased.
The Chancellor is asked to foster a demand for motor vehicles by lowering the direct taxation, with the prospect of increased returns from greater volume, more employment, and general prosperity resulting from a thriving motor. industry.
It is not a practical proposition to have a motor vehicle especially made for export. It is necessary to encourage the home demand towards types which, other countries require. It will be appreciated that heavy taxation on all forms of commercial road transpart is levied primarily on the Nation's industry, and is often a recurrent cost M. every fOrm of material, raw, semior fully fabricated,