ELECTRIC car owners will be able to top them up for free at work if
employers provide charging points.
Philip Hammond said there would be no benefit-in-kind charge for workplaces
that supply electricity for the vehicles from April.
His move initially sparked speculation it could revive the company car, but
Budget documents clarified that it referred to electricity as fuel — not the
The chancellor also confirmed that discounts for people buying electric cars
will continue until 2020, thanks to an extra £100million in funding. The
scheme, launched by David Cameron’s government in 2011, provides help
towards the cost of battery-powered ‘plug-in’ vehicles as part of efforts to
cut pollution. Ministers had previously only funded it until March 2018.
Other green vehicle measures include £40million towards electric car
research and a £400million fund — half from government, half from industry —
to improve infrastructure, such as charging points. Higher taxes are to be
slapped on new diesel cars that do not meet emissions standards. Revenue
will be used to fund investment in electric and driverless car technology.
Mr Hammond joked that Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson was not a fan of
driverless cars but said: ‘Our future vehicles will be driverless, but
they’ll be electric first. And that’s a change that needs to come as soon as
Greenpeace criticised ‘one of the least green Budgets ever’ and others hit
out at the decision to freeze fuel duty for the eighth year.
Mr Hammond also unveiled a railcard that will give a third off fares for 26-
AIR duty on short-haul flights is to remain frozen in 2019/20.
Long-haul passengers with economy tickets will also see duty levels frozen
at the 2018/19 rates, but those flying premium economy, business and first
class will pay £16 more.
The air duty for those travelling by private jet will rise by £47. Hailing
the freeze for short-haul and economy tickets, Philip Hammond said: ‘It will
be paid for by an increase on premium-class tickets, and on private jets.