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Anger As UK Govt Cuts Green Subsidies For Wealthy Greens

The Times

The car industry has attacked the government for its “premature” removal of subsidies for plug-in hybrid vehicles that are capable of running on zero carbon and pollution emissions.

Slowing plug-in sales have failed to fill the gap created by falling diesel sales as motorists fret over taxation, inner urban access and environmental issues surrounding diesel.

The latest industry figures show a 4.1 per cent fall in new car registrations in April to 161,000; so far this year the market has fallen by 2.7 per cent to 886,000 new car registrations.

The first quarter of the year had been buoyed by heavy discounting in an attempt to get cars out of showrooms for fear that consumer confidence could stall on Brexit, which had been scheduled to take place on March 29.

The data indicates that sales of new cars are running at a seven-year low. This April’s figure is the worst since 2012, bar the exceptional month of April 2017, in which sales were worse but only because new car tax rules came in that month which disproportionately pulled new sales into the first quarter of that year.

April 2019’s figures show that diesel remains in the doghouse, making up a historically low 29 per cent of the total market. Petrol sales also fell, by 3 per cent, but accounted for nearly 65 per cent of all sales.

What seems to have caught the trade on the hop, however, is lacklustre sales of green vehicles — up 12 per cent, which is slower than in previous years.

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