Higher taxes for polluting cars

The Flemish Government is increasing taxes on polluting cars. In this way the government wants to encourage people to purchase less polluting cars, but it has now emerged that the higher taxation will not apply to lease cars.
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People buying a very polluting car will pay higher annual road tax and a higher sum to get their vehicle on the roads in the first place. At the same time the government's introducing grants for people purchasing electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

However, because it fears an exodus of lease companies to places outside Flanders, the higher taxation will not affect lease cars. At present one in three company cars is a lease vehicle. In all there are some 1.1 million company cars in Belgium.

Flemish Budget Minister Annemie Turtelboom explains that the higher taxes won't affect lease cars because the government is concerned lease companies could delocalise from Flanders to Brussels or even Wallonia: "The day we sign a co-operation accord with Brussels and Wallonia all vehicles will be treated in the same way. At present Wallonia is unwilling to sign up. We stand before a choice: either we do nothing or we introduce reforms to promote greener cars and we exclude company cars."