Kokoomus plans to cut emissions by scrapping car tax

The National Coalition Party says no car tax means it becomes more affordable for drivers to buy newer, cleaner vehicles and therefore cut pollutants.

File picture of cars in car park, taken from above / Credit: iStock

The National Coalition Party has unveiled its plans to cut traffic emissions, by scrapping car tax and enabling drivers to buy more modern, low-emissions vehicles.

Kokoomus says they’d abolish the tax within four years if they got into government, and that it would mean transport emissions would be halved by 2030 – with Finland’s roads carbon-free by 2045.

“Quite a few in Finland have an outdated idea that motoring is the enemy of the environment and that efforts must be made to prevent or reduce motoring in some way” Kai Mykkänen, Kokoomus parliamentary group chairman said at a Thursday press conference

“In practice, no significant reduction in motoring can take place in Finland without unduly complicating the daily lives of citizens. This is a fact” he added.

File picture of Kai Mykkänen (NCP) / Credit: Official website

The plan to scrap car tax is just one part of the National Coalition Party’s drive to reduce vehicle emissions. Mykkänen says more public transport should be used especially in bigger cities, but that all Finns need to have the chance to buy newer, cleaner cars than they have today.

The average age of cars on Finnish roads is 12 years, one of the oldest in Europe – and therefore one of the dirtiest in terms of emissions pollution.

“If the car tax is abolished, it is quite clear that the tax revenue from the sale of new cars in Finland will increase by hundreds of millions of euros a year” says Mykkänen.

The debate about motoring in Finnish politics has often driven into rough terrain: with some on the right suggesting especially in countryside areas, that the left wants to ‘ban private car ownership’ (sic) as their blunt tool to meet emissions targets.

During the 2019 general election campaign Kokoomus ran a big advertising campaign with signs next to roads saying “your car belongs to you” to try and court votes from people who thought other parties might want to somehow ban the use of private vehicles – an anathema in Finland’s rural areas.