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Ministers reject diesel scrappage scheme as expensive and ineffective'

Ministers have rejected mounting calls for a diesel car scrappage scheme to help tackle air pollution, claiming it would be prohibitively expensive and ineffective.

MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) select committee have joined the ranks of influential groups urging the Government to offer cash incentives to drivers of old, polluting diesel cars to trade them in and buy low emissions vehicles.

It is understood that the Government had no plans for a car scrappage scheme on the basis that a national scrappage scheme could not guarantee a reductions in emissions as effectively as other alternatives, due to air quality issues being often localised and can be managed in other ways.

The Government concluded that there was no proportionate way to appropriately target such a measure to the areas where it would be most needed and it would be prohibitively expensive, as well as an ineffective use of resource to offer a scheme indiscriminately.

Calls for a scrappage scheme have grown in the wake of the emissions scandal, with official test results published recently showing that all of Britain's most popular diesel cars exceed the legal limit for safe levels of pollution.

Neil Parish MP, chair of the Efra committee, said the Government must do more to get older, more polluting diesel vehicles off the road quickly and should start planning to introduce a scrappage scheme at the next Budget, targeted at cars and vans ten years or more old.

17 May 2016

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