Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Road tolls: Yet another gratuitous exploitation of the motorist

Daily Mail
"One consequence of the chronic mismanagement of our economy since 1945 has been the punishment of the motorist. Because driving is the only way for many people to get to work, to get their children safely to school, or to do the shopping, it is a soft target when Governments are hunting for ways of raising extra money. David Cameron’s plan to let the private sector take a stake in our roads network, including by building toll roads, is another such act of exploitation. Motorists already pay through the nose for an overloaded and crumbling roads system via their Road Fund licence, and through the VAT and excise duty paid on increasingly expensive fuel.However, the Government admits that all the revenues from Road Fund licences, duty and VAT on fuel are not used exclusively on building and maintaining roads, and have not been for decades. The truth is that an estimated £33bn is raised from motoring taxes each year, but only £9.1bn is spent on roads. This scandalous fact proves the dishonesty of calling the levy on motorists the “Road Fund - and emphasises how successive and incompetent governments have cynically leeched money off road-users."

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