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Fair deal for motorists

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Filling car with petrolCosts of motoring have doubled under Labour

Twelve years ago I worked in Bishop Auckland and made the return trip from South Shields in a small car with a petrol tank of roughly the same size as I have now, 40 litres. Twelve years ago, as John Major’s government was getting ready to cede it’s authority to the electorate and welcome the Blair/Brown partnership, I used to shop around to fill my tank for less than £15, today I shop around to fill it for less than £50! Add to my costs the inexorable rises in Road Tax, insurance, general maintenance etc. and you can see that the price of motoring has more than doubled during the term of Labour’s tenure.

Figures compiled by the AA show that the average motorist pays more than £1,800 annually in fuel duty, car tax, VAT on petrol and other levies – an increase of more than 50 per cent in little more than a decade.

Luckily, being now retired, I am not obliged to drive the same amount of miles as I did ten years ago, but many are, I know scores of South Shields people who drive up to 40 miles to get to their place of work. The revenue that the government takes from motorists has risen from £31bn in 1997 to an expected £50bn this year, an increase of well over 50%, motorists are being unfairly punished by a government that seems to have declared war on them. What really stinks as far as many average families are concerned is the retrospective tax increase for cars bought over the past seven years, so those who have tried to save money by making their vehicle last longer are to be hit again by another hefty increase in Road Tax. We even get taxed on our insurance policy these days!

The Daily Telegraph has launched a campaign aimed at getting the government to redress the balance, Gordon Brown has vowed to listen us all these days you know, and it is supported by motrists’ groups, MPs, and charities.

Edmund King, the AA president, said:

“This campaign is needed because it appears the car is seen and taxed as a luxury rather than a necessity. Motorists are now taxed at a higher rate than champagne drinkers but for the vast majority of people driving is an absolute necessity.

“The high taxes are now affecting people’s lives and families are having to cut back on other areas of spending to pay for their cars. What is really hitting people are these plans for retrospective taxes.

“The Prime Minister should now be listening to these concerns.”

Being a bit of a cynic when it comes to this global warming and CO2 emissions thing (I’m still trying to be convinced that it isn’t just a scam to raise revenue for western governments) I’d like to see just where this government is spending this revenue and what on, it certainly doesn’t look as though it’s being spent on repairing roads, or planting new forests or investing in recycling plants to produce biofuel from congealed vegetable oils! There is plenty of evidence, however, of it throwing money at local councils like South Tyneside to allow them to put back breaking humps along every thirty yards of each street that they can find, just be grateful you are travelling in a car rather than an ambulance! Some of our streets are so disfigured by these humps that there is little chance of the next Warney Cresswell being found playing football in our borough!

Ronnie Campbell the MP for Blyth is also expressing his “concern”, especially over the plight of his rural constituents in Northumberland, it may surprise him to learn that many folks from South Shields are feeling the pinch day in, day out, as they travel through the Tyne Tunnel to work in places like Ashington, Cramlington, Newbiggin, and Killingworth. These are places where it is virtually impossible to get to on public transport for 6.00am to start a day at work.

Give us all a break Gordon.

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Written by curly

May 7, 2008 at 11:39 am

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