Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tax surcharges, or making motorists the equivalent of sex offenders.

It's a well known fact that the previous government looked upon motorists as a cash cow to be milked by the system by any means possible, including the infamous Victims Surcharge scheme to help fund more rape crisis centre, which was added on to existing fines for what the government saw as a worthy cause, but left motorists wondering "why me?" Well it seems as if the coalition also love the scheme...

The Coalition Government is looking at how to expand the Victims Surcharge scheme to help fund more rape crisis centres.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed last year the £15 charge, currently added to fines handed out by the courts to help fund services for victims, was to be extended to on-the-spot fines and fixed penalties. 
That paved the way for millions of people, including speeding drivers, to be liable as well.
But the new Government is now reviewing the scheme further, including increasing the charge or spreading it to more offences.
Sources in the courts fear it could be doubled to £30.
For a motorist, that would mean paying half again on top of the standard £60 speeding fine.
Critics said support for victims of rape was to be welcomed but warned the move effectively placed motorists who park in the wrong place in the same category as sex offenders.
The Victim's Surcharge was introduced in April 2007 and has so far raised around £21 million, including £1.2 million for rape crisis centres.
Those figures would be dwarfed if the charge is doubled and extended to millions of people who Around three million drivers are given tickets for speeding each year and more than 200,000 on the spot fines are issued annually.
The Ministry of Justice has announced it wants to develop the scheme to fund rape crisis centres.
So not only are they after more money for pet projects, they are determined to get motorists to pay for help centres for crimes they haven't committed. I could just about understand it if the fines were going towards improving roads, improving road safety or driver training centres, but rape crisis centres? Surely this should be the in the remit and punishment of sexual offenders, not motorists. Again, this is lazy government, you see a problem and you go straight to the nearest cash cow to milk more resources to pay for a solution. Again it's using the normally law abiding (for these are civil not criminal laws) to pay for something the government itself should be providing and if necessary funding it by grabbing the assets of sexual predators.

If they are going to levy a surcharge, then it should go towards the victims of road accidents, not rapists, it's simply not right.

1 annotations:

James Higham said...

Yep, to make that sort of connection between two different offences is obnoxious.