Car tax changes set to launch this spring have caused some residents ‘financial anxiety’

'Clean air zone' plans mean diesel drivers could face charges

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In an open letter to the Government, Labour MPs have called for experts to reconsider parts of Greater Manchester’s upcoming Clean Air Zone. The scheme is set to launch at the end of May after the Government intervened to reduce petrol and diesel vehicle emissions in the city.

However, Labour MPs have warned there are “concerns” over whether funding available for the scheme is sufficient as car values rise.

The letter said: “​​Since the plan was agreed in July 2021, evidence suggests that the cost of upgrading a vehicle has risen by as much as 60 percent because of inflation and supply chain issues.

“This is likely to impact on the ability of individuals and businesses to upgrade their vehicles and we have concerns about whether the agreed level of funding is now sufficient.

“As you know, under the terms of the legal direction placed on the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities by the Government, none of the local authorities can amend, revoke, or suspend their CAZ without the prior written permission from the secretary of state.

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East added: “Pleased to sign my friend @NavPMishra‘s letter regarding the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.

“However, we have all been contacted by numerous constituents who have documented their financial anxiety because of the implications of the CAZ and have asked for elements of the scheme to be reconsidered.”

The letter also urged the Government to “engage in discussions” with mayor Andy Burnham and local authorities over the scheme.

They said changes should be introduced to make the scheme “fair for everyone”.

A total of 15 MPs have signed the note, with some taking to social media to reiterate their concerns.

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Navendu Mishra, MP for Stockport West posted on Twitter: “Alongside other Greater Manchester MPs, I have written to the Government about the Clean Air Zone in GM and the need for meaningful discussions around this.

“Poor air quality needs tackling, but this stage of the scheme could place a heavy financial burden on small businesses.”

Mile Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East said: “We have to do something about air quality.

“We also need to ensure what we do is not placing too much of a burden on local businesses.

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