The Government will not be progressing the planned changes to vehicle duty until later in the year.
The Vehicle Duty Order 2021 was due to be considered by Tynwald in March but will not now be moved until after the effects of the current circuit break lockdown have eased.
Tim Baker MHK, Minister for Infrastructure, said:
'The proposed new Order was due to bring in small changes this year - a general increase of 1% to the current rates alongside some measures designed to support the climate change agenda, such as the introduction of a £30 surcharge on older, more polluting, diesel vehicles. The longer term changes were based on vehicle weight. Whilst for most people these would not come into force until 2025, these changes are more complex. These proposals were the subject of consultation before the start of the pandemic but over a year has passed and it is clear to me that ideas that were accepted almost two years ago now seem more challenging.
'This Order was placed on the March Tynwald agenda before the current lockdown started. Had I known then that we would be facing a surge in the number of cases and that people would be worrying about the future, I would have waited for a more suitable time. The next best thing is to withdraw the motion and to bring it back at another time, reflecting then any changes that need to be made. That is what I will be doing.
'Sadly, this does mean that the option to pay road tax for six months will also be delayed. I remain committed to allowing payment by instalments but that will not now be available from April.'
Current vehicle duty rates will remain in force until a new Vehicle Duty Order is approved by Tynwald. Vehicle duty raises a total of £13.5m annually, all of which is spend on maintaining and improving the Island’s highways. The proposed order was due to increase this amount to £13.7m, an overall increase of just below 1%.