The government's car-tax hike plan has been attacked by a former transport minister.
Stephen Ladyman, who served as minister of state for transport from May 2005 to June 2007, criticised the car while addressing a meeting at the Labour party conference. The VED tax hike is "unfair because it is retrospective and politically unwise because it hits our heartland of Labour voters," said Ladyman.
"We need the co-operation of drivers if we're going to get people's behaviour to change," he later told Autocar.Ladyman was inside government in the Department for Transport when plans to beef up the link between VED and carbon emissions was first mooted.
"We told the Treasury that an increase of a few hundred pounds wouldn't affect buyers when they chose the car," he said.Instead the proposal, which is retrospective on cars registered after 2001, has damaged used car values, rendering the average five or seven-year old family hatchback, MPV and 4x4 worthless overnight.
On older, cheaper cars the proposed tax hike forms a much bigger part of the car's running cost.
"That's what I can't understand about this proposal - the people most affected are mostly Labour voters," said Ladyman. "We've got the basic politics in this wrong."