LONDON – The European Parliament has added its voice to growing political pressure within the European Union to eliminate taxes and other restrictions preventing free trade of new automobiles in the 15-nation bloc.
|The European Parliament has backed a resolution to restructure vehicle taxes.|
At present, EU Member States levy such widely varying tax rates on auto purchases that the same car can be bought in Denmark or Finland, for example, at less than two-thirds of the price in Britain.
The parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs committee has backed a resolution saying there is an "urgent need to restructure vehicle taxes" and that "urgent action must be taken at a national level to remove barriers to the free movement of persons and cars."
This is linked to a proposal by the European Commission to eliminate so-called registration taxes on new vehicles, which in Denmark, for instance, can amount to 180% of the selling price of the vehicle. To overcome this, auto manufacturers reduce vehicle prices in high-tax countries, allowing tax-exempt non-residents to buy cheaply.
The committee now is calling on the EC to make proposals by the end of November "as a temporary solution pending measures to abolish registration taxes, and to present proposals to overcome internal market barriers resulting from registration taxes."