Wednesday, May 7, 2014

So why do we pay road tax?

One of the biggest grouses drivers have is that the amount they pay in road tax is not the amount spent on roads and road improvements. Yes I know all tax simply goes into a giant pot and is doled out as needed (or often enough unneeded) by the government to support itself in the manner it wants to. So when select committees come out with stuff like telling the country that they need toll roads to help pay for infrastructue payments then I get irritated...
A Transport Select Committee report said investment needs to increase “substantially” during the next decade.
Traffic levels on motorways and A roads are predicted to rise 46 per cent by 2040.
MPs warned that revenue from fuel duty and vehicle excise duty is likely to drop, meaning road expenditure will “require new funding streams”.
One option would be continental-style toll charges on new roads or the use of tracking devices to charge vehicles for every mile they travel.
Actually the tracker thing is more down to the EU and trying desperately to find a way to pay for and use its costly and useless Galileo gps wannabe satelite system as the American one is in place and works better. As any tracking system used would most likely be the Galileo one by EU directive, guess why MP's are keen on road tracking as an option.
Thing is though with road toll's no one trusts the government to come up with a fair system, they proved that on the M25 Thames crossing at Dartford where the tolls were only supposed to be in place until the bridge was paid off. Naturally this was reneged upon and the tolls are still in place along with odd excuses that somehow or other the choke point caused by the toll booths was a traffic calming measure or that the funds raised would go into road improvements for the local county (they didn't) Currently they're busy removing the toll booths and fitting registration cameras for a pay by phone system, so, so much for the traffic calming measure...
Essentially the government won't use the revenue they raise from motorists to pay for new road infrastructure and improvements, they'd much prefer to grab more from motorists to directly fund them whilst pocketing the other cash they currently get for other things.
Then they wonder why we don't trust them with money.

3 annotations:

Anonymous said...

HMG has form on toll bridges. The original Severn crossing was supposed to become toll free when it had been paid for...

Woodsy42 said...

If traffic is going to increase by 46% then one assumes petrol tax revenues and road tax revenues will also increase. Not by as much as people move to smaller more efficient cars - but they of course also reduce wear and tear.
They should be able to reduce tax on the back of the improved productivity.
But that of course assumes an honest system

Robert the Biker said...

It always amazes me that this remains a moan with people, road tax ceased to be dedicated to roads only in 1936 (Harold MacMillan)despite politicians promises, I know, stop me if you've heard this one!
Neither the political parties nor the motoring organisations raised a fuss nor sought to alter this, with the result that the motorist/cash cow is seen as a quick fix for all financial troubles. Want to change this? Ask the candidates what they plan to do about forcing a vote on this and only vote for those who will alter this pernicious system.

OH look! A flying pig!