Motorists who complain about the Government unfairly targeting drivers as a means of raising revenue are misguided and wrong, according to a report from the Institute of Public Policy and Research (IPPR).
It may come as a surprise to those who own motorhome insurance policies but the IPPR insist that motorists should in fact be paying more taxes for the pleasure of driving around in their own vehicle, as those who have to use public transport have seen price rises far in excess of those encountered by the average motorhome enthusiast. The report says statistics show that under the last Labour Government, which was accused of waging war on the motorist, motoring costs rose by about 32%, bad enough you may think, but in fact this was dwarfed by increases in both rail fares at 66% and bus fares at 76%. The Institute point out that since the Coalition Government came to power the Chancellor of the Exchequer has gone out of his way to give concessions to motorists including the postponement of the 3p per litre increase on fuel tax that should have been implemented this summer.
The recent increases for rail users of an average 6%, illustrate the IPPR’s viewpoint and they are adamant that the Government should not only increase fuel taxes but also implement congestion charges and pay as you go road schemes. They say motorists are much better placed to make savings on their transport costs compared to public transport users as they can choose to use more fuel efficient machines. This, the Institute say, is one more reason why they should shoulder more of the tax burden. And what would the IPPR do with extra revenue raised from motorists? They would improve the public transport system!
Unsurprisingly motoring organisations are not too impressed with the findings of the IPPR who are decidedly on the left of the political system. Paul Watters from the AA took an altogether different view saying: “Far from raising fuel duty the Chancellor should continue to freeze it to help stimulate the economy and lift some of the fuel burden from families and business. This in itself would actually support Treasury receipts, arguably stopping more cash for transport being lost.”
It would be naïve to think buying more fuel efficient vehicles and looking for cheaper motor insurance will keep motoring costs down in the long run, as the Government will raise the amount of money they need by imposing taxes, but the average motorist will not take kindly to an organisation who try and tell them they’ve never had it so good.