Warning over new laws on fuel, road tax and plastic in major changes today

Scottish households have a list of new laws to know after the energy price cap came into effect today.

Several energy websites crashed yesterday as customers rushed to submit meter readings before the massive price cap increase became official.

But that’s not the only major change happening today – road tax increased, minimum wage and living wage rates were updated, and a new plastic packaging tax was introduced, the Mirror reports.

As for more motoring news, drivers should be aware that the 5p cut in fuel duty announced in the Spring Statement will last until March 2023.

Here’s what you need to know about all the legal changes on April 1 and some others to come.

Road tax

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic Collision, holding his neck
Drivers are paying higher road tax starting April 1

Vehicle excise duty (VED) or road tax, vehicle tax or road fund licence, is set to increase from today (April 1).

Road tax is calculated by using the age of the car and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from it.

The standard rate for cars registered after 2017 emitting between 1 and 50kg of CO2 will go up from £155 to £165.

Cars that don’t emit CO2 will not need to pay road tax.

Plastic packaging tax

The new plastic packaging tax is an environmental tax designed to encourage businesses to use recycled plastic while manufacturing their packaging, by providing a financial incentive to businesses.

The tax means that starting from April 1, manufacturers and importers will have to pay a tax of £200 per tonne on packaging that is made of less than 30% of recycled plastic.

Corporation tax charge

The rate of corporation tax will be kept at 19% by the Finance Act 2021 for the 2022 financial year. However, this is set to increase to 25% from April 1 2023 onwards, applying to profits over £250,000.

Any companies that earn profits of £50,000 or less will continue to pay 19% as a small profits rate (SPR) from 2023-24.

Meanwhile, companies earning profits between £50,000 and £250,000 will pay tax at the main rate leading to gradual increase in the corporate tax rate.

Minimum wage

Pound coins and bank notes.
New minimum wage and living wage rates are in effect

New minimum wage and living wage rates were introduced on April 1.

The recommendations on what the minimum wage and living wage should be for 2022 were made by the Low Pay Commission, which were accepted by the UK government.

From April 1, the National Living Wage – the minimum hourly rate for workers aged 23 and over – will go up by 51p. Meanwhile, the National Minimum Wage, for workers under 23 years old, will increase by 82p.

It will be law for employers to pay their staff no less than these new rates from April 1.

Changes to fuel

Using red diesel and rebated biofuels will be made more widely illegal in the UK starting April 1, as part of the Government’s 2050 climate goals.

The ban is not likely to affect individual consumers as much as businesses, as red diesel is mainly used for off-road purposes like powering bulldozers and cranes for construction or for power drills used in oil extractions.

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