Diesel Cars (1)

MQT on 2014-09-17
Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Question By: 
Richard Tracey
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


You have recently proposed a scrappage scheme for the most polluting diesel vehicles. How do you plan to persuade the Government to introduce this scheme?


Answer for Diesel Cars (1)

Answer for Diesel Cars (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Dick, yes.  The way to persuade the Government is to go back to some of the arguments I was making earlier, which is that this has been a failure of public policy for which the consumers, drivers of diesel cars, are not responsible.  They have been massively penalised.  They have suddenly been told that their cars are not clean.  It is infuriating, and insofar as we have got to address the problem of excess emissions, they deserve to be compensated with a proper scrappage scheme. 

Richard Tracey (AM):  Yes, I understand where the policy is coming from, Mr Mayor, but the trouble is there are many thousands of motorists in the London area driving diesel cars who feel that they were completely misinformed, actually, I think it was by Ed Miliband [Leader of the Opposition] when he was the Minister in the Labour Government. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  It was.  My God, it was Miliband!  I had forgotten.  That was one of the few things he did in his otherwise inert occupation of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  I think you are absolutely right, it was Miliband.  My goodness, how have we neglected that point?  It was Miliband who led everybody up the garden path. 

Richard Tracey (AM):  But if I can get on to the point about the scrappage, you have been talking about £2,000.  These thousands of motorists with really pretty new diesel cars who have been misled will require far more than that to scrap their cars, do you not agree? 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I know.  It depends.  What we are talking about is a scheme that will come into effect in 2020, so by then the vehicles will be six years old or more, and obviously I understand they have the option of paying the charge if they want to drive through central London.  Those who are already living within the zone will have an even longer period in which to comply, until 2023. However I would like to see a scrappage scheme and I appreciate that for many people it will be very infuriating, but the people to blame are the European Commission who had the Euro 4/Euro 5 standards wrong and whoever was responsible in Government for getting everybody to take up diesel cars.  If you tell me it is Ed Miliband and Labour are not denying it ‑‑ they are not denying it.