ABD Calls for an End to Rip-Off Motoring Taxes
In an unexpected development, Ken Livingstone has called for an end to excessive parking charges in the Westminster area. 1
Former Mayor Livingstone complained that the charges were “nothing to do with regulating congestion or improving the environment, and everything to do with ripping off Londoners to fill Westminster council's coffers”
As someone whose Congestion Charge was found not to have delivered measurable environmental benefits 2
but managed to fill the coffers of public service outsourcer Capita, the ABD finds Red Ken well qualified to comment.
ABD London media spokesman Brian Mooney responded:
“It is slightly hypocritical of Ken to complain about drivers facing 'charges of up to £22 or more for one visit', as he had tried to raise his 'Kengestion Charge' to £25 for some vehicles. Transport for London also admitted that the charge had been made difficult to pay, resulting in £40 penalties being handed out to drivers and some marked cases of injustice. 3
Ironically I agree with Ken that motoring taxes are having a harmful effect on jobs and incomes, and that this is an issue that goes beyond party politics.
I challenge the new Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, to work with other government departments and councils to reduce the tax burden on Britain's drivers. We pay about £50 billion a year in motoring taxes, and get less than £9 billion a year back.
The government should immediately call off next year's above-inflation rises in fuel duty and stop vested interests from making blatant profits out of us.” 4
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Evening Standard article: "Who'll defend Londoners from this parking rip-off?"
2. Several references to Transport for London's annual monitoring reports here.
3. as 2
4. Various rip-offs include:
- Sharp rises in parking permits and other parking charges.
- Gratuitous speed camera fines and fees for 'speed awareness courses'.
- Penalties for badly-signed bus lanes and box junctions.
- Tolls such as for the Dartford Crossing, which were supposed to be scrapped once the Crossing had been paid for, but are now being increased!
- Planned workplace parking charges - "a tax on going to work"
Notes for Editors about the ABD
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