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Labour Minister Admits To Getting It Wrong On Diesel

By raccars Published

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Viewers of this week's episode of 'Dispatches' on Channel 4, will have been treated to the rare sight of a politician admitting that his party has made a mistake on a public policy matter. Few will have been gratified by the admission, however, which has seen far reaching consequences for car buyers.

Shadow environment minister, Barry Gardiner, admitted that his party was wrong to encourage car buyers to go for diesel by basing car tax values on CO2 emissions. The Labour minister was thoroughly repentant and claimed that the decision was taken without the information we have today, about the effect of diesel versus petrol exhaust fumes upon the environment.

However, the result is that many well meaning diesel car owners, who invested in oil burners thanks to the encouragement of the Labour government of the time to go green, are now facing huge extra bills over petrol car owners. Recently, Islington Council announced that diesel car owners would have to pay more for residents' parking permits than petrol car owners, with the borough planning to be completely diesel free by 2023.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, waged war upon diesel drivers last year, planning a diesel scrappage scheme and higher congestion charges for those driving diesel vehicles into the city. The problem is occurring on an international scale, with Paris launching a scheme to ban diesel cars within the city by 2020.

The situation saw this week's 'Dispatches' titled 'The Great Car Con,' and discussing scientific findings that show the level of particulate matter emitted by diesel cars is 22 times higher than petrol engines. The programme claimed that residents of urban areas are at a higher risk of cancer as a result. Diesel emissions are also blamed for a higher risk of strokes, diabetes and heart disease, thanks to high levels of nitrogen oxides.

The UK government is under pressure to meet strict EU emissions targets but admitted recently that nitrogen oxide levels were too high in 38 areas of the UK, out of a total of 43.

NEDC official fuel consumption figures also came under fire in 'The Great Car Con' programme, with manufacturers accused of manipulating test results to obtain figures that are completely unrealistic in real world driving situations. Tricks used include taping up panel gaps and removing door mirrors, to reduce wind resistance and removing rear seats to reduce kerb weight.

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