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Danish minister not moved on green road tax after meeting truck drivers

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish minister not moved on green road tax after meeting truck drivers
Tax Minister Jeppe Bruus met with industry organisations and transport sector representatives following protests against a new green tax by truck drivers. Photo: Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

HGV drivers and interest organisations met with Danish ministers on Tuesday to discuss a planned kilometre tax on large goods vehicles, after two days of protests which disrupted roads across the country.

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Tax Minister Jeppe Bruus said that sides had a “good and constructive meeting” but ruled out any movement from the government on the planned tax.

“We are probably not going to agree on the road tax itself,” he said.

“But we agree on everything relating to a making a coherent plan for transition to green road transport. That is also wanted by the [transport] sector,” he said.

The minister was given suggestions at the meeting by sector representatives, relating to making heavy goods road transport sustainable.

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That included faster implementation of charging infrastructure for electric HGVs.

Trucks which are powered by electricity are not impacted by the planned kilometre tax to which drivers and trade organisations have objected.

Only diesel and petrol-driven HGVs will qualify for the tax, which will see an average fee of 1.30 kroner per kilometre charged from 2025.

Tuesday morning saw slow-moving HGVs disrupt traffic in Copenhagen and North Jutland and around 20 trucks gathered outside the parliament building Christiansborg as drivers continued protests. That followed blockades at motorways in several locations across the country on Monday.

Bruus did not comment directly on the demonstrations but said he was “happy to live in an open democracy”.

Interest groups for the transport sector have asked the government to postpone the kilometre tax until 2030.

“It takes a long time to switch to green HGVs and put charging stations up,” Karsten Lauritzen, sector director with the Confederation of Danish Industry’s Transport group, said in a written comment after the meeting.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce said there are “other and better alternatives for reducing the sector’s climate impact than a tax on transport that has a limited CO2 effect”.

“But it has been made clear that the government has made a final decision to introduce the road tax,” the organisation’s sector director for transport Jesper Kronborg said.

“But I hope they will consider the criticisms of the proposal so they can be part of ongoing work and thereby create real green transitions,” he said.

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