Once again the UK government is looking for ways to dip their hands into our pockets to try and maintain spending rather than cut its spending. Naturally they look to motorists as an easy target. Vehicle excise duty and fuel duty are two ways in which the government uses to fill its coffers, however if they spent all they took in on the actual roads we’d have the best transport system in the world bar none…
As it is, they keep looking for ways to dip their hands in our pockets again and again to pay for transport infrastructure, rather than taking the money from those measures that are actually supposed to pay for these things…
Reforms that could give private investors control over Britain’s biggest roads will be included in the new policy agenda for the second half of the Coalition due next month, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
The private managers of the roads would then be allowed to levy tolls on any new capacity they provide, such as new lanes or bypasses.
Existing roads that are “improved beyond recognition” by private managers could also be considered for charging, sources suggest.
Vehicle Excise Duty could also be reformed so the amount of money motorists pay in tax is linked to the roads they use.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg will next month unveil a “mid-term review” of the Coalition, setting out progress and priorities for the next two years.
Most revenue from drivers does not come through the vehicle tax but from fuel duties and VAT. While VED raises about £6 billion a year, taxes on petrol and diesel (which are among the highest in the world) bring in nearly £40 billion. The combined revenues raised from motoring are around £45 billion a year – and yet only about £10 billion is spent on new roads and maintenance.
If the government were to actually use the money to pay for roads infrastructure rather than using the majority of it for anything but, there wouldn’t even be any such discussions. Hell at £14 billion we could cut the foreign aid budget and use that for our roads and get a £4 billion increase in spending.
Rather than reduce spending, the government appears to still be in love with the tax and spend policies of the last government, rather than reduce the state they’d rather we paid more to maintain it. Of course they claim that we voted for it, though I cannot recall seeing any mention of a two tier system for road payments in any manifesto, not even the idiot Greens.
It does appear that the Government is hell bent on a one term tenure at the reins of power, I just hope they are not taking a leaf out of Labours book and trying to wreck things for the next incumbents.
What it boils down too is that the government does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.