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Should the media be stopped ref "road tax"

downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
edited August 2008 in Campaign
I'm starting to beleive that the media, be it the BBC reading out comments on air, or ITN inteviewing the man in the street, or even printing comments online on a newspapers website... should perhaps NOT be so quick to print/read those "helpful" comments of joe public when they b*tch about cyclists and "road tax"

I think they have done a lot in the past few years to put pressure and resentment our way. After all it isnt our fault that cycles are exempt from VeD. :? Its almost a new kind of "racism" if you will, with people becoming ignorant of the real facts. They have been quick to back up and promote myths that we: all jump red lights, are all uninsured, dont drive, are abusive and bash the sides of cars, are green lunatics, hate cars, etc etc.

With regards to certain news papers and their website comments: why are these not removed? If I write an ambiguous and offensive comment about any other minority what is the difference? It would be removed.

Posts

  • The thing is that the media, especially the newspapers, have to write material that will appeal to the widest possible audience at an emotional level.

    The real issue is this governments relentless punishment of motorists and the exploitation of same as an easy target. It's almost the same as taxing the usage of electricity or air - what are you going to do, stop using it? Stop breathing? Stop using motor transport?

    The latest 'stab in the back' is imposing a higher rate of VED for big/guzzling cars and making it retrospective back to cars bought from 2001 onwards.

    I don't argue the tax - if you want a car like that you just factor the VED into the running costs and if you're happy with the cost, you pay it. No, it's the retrospective bit. If it was a piece of criminal legislation it would fall foul of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights which forbids retrospective legislation. Fiscal policy is, however, treated as a civil matter and hence they can do it.

    So, why is that the real issue you ask yourself. Consider this: if the top rate of VED was £25 per year, do you think the motorist would object to bikes going free on the roads. If people didn't feel aggrieved by the tax the papers couldn't sell stories that give the disgruntled motorist something else to vent their anger at, i.e. us. The motorist wants to read something that tells them how hard done by they are and go 'yeah! thats right'. So they buy papers that give them that; and so the papers and media produce it for them. Most newspapers are not interested in truth - that doesn't sell copies.

    Finally, as a personal point of view, I wouldn't object to paying some level of Road Tax to use the roads if the money was used for what it was originally put in place for. Who remembers the tax being called the 'Road Fund Licence'? It existed to build, maintain and develop the road network. The reality is that we have certainly the worst roads to ride a bike on in the whole of Europe. In my area, some of them are like a third world country and I know that I take my life in my hands every time I venture out to pick my way round the pot-holes, broken surface, raised ironworks and utility trenches.
    Pablo

    If you think life's unfair, think on... If it was fair, all that sh!t that happens to you would be payback for something.
  • I don't think it's completely unfair to impose retrospective VED. Even in 2001, it was obvious that gas-guzzlers were going to become increasingly expensive to run, and that included an expected increase in taxation.
    As to spending VED on the road system: the Govt. does and then some. I don't have the latest figures, but in 2003/4, £5.4bn was spent on the roads in England alone. VED for the UK as a whole only raised £4.9bn. In any case VED was never meant to be spent just on roads.
    FCN 7 (4 weekdays)
    FCN 11 (1 weekday)

    There is an old cyclist called Leigh (not me!)
    Who's pedalling's a blur to see
    So fast is his action
    The Lorenz Contraction
    Shortens his bike to a "T"
  • Ah... but you forget the other motoring related taxes that irk the average motorist.

    The breakdown, for year 2006/7 is actually:

    Fuel tax £23.7 bn
    Vehicle excise duty £5.0 bn
    VAT on vehicles £6.9 bn
    VAT on fuel £6.8 bn
    Company car tax £2.6 bn
    Total £45.0 bn
    Source: HM Revenue & Customs, DVLA, DfT

    Government budget for roads: £7.5 bn


    But none of those taxes, other than VED,could be applied to the minority cyclist group of road users - so that's what we're persecuted for.

    You can see from above the chronic under investment in the maintenance of the road network for all users - pedal pushers included.

    Taken from the 2007/8 Road User Association 'Roadfile' report, p9: "The RAC Report on Motoring 2007 showed that 71% of motorists thought that the quality of roads is
    noticeably deteriorating. It also reported that 85% of motorists perceived the cost of motoring to be increasing very rapidly. "

    The motorists are aggrieved, so the newspapers write stories that allow them to focus their frustrations on cyclists, those freeloading green obsessed wierdos.
    Pablo

    If you think life's unfair, think on... If it was fair, all that sh!t that happens to you would be payback for something.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Cheers for those very concise replies.

    When it comes to the oil industry I thought there where more taxes even after the ones you mentioned Pablo. You sometimes wonder exactly where this money is ending up..? :? :lol:

    It is quite true that the media has never been concerned with the truth or have embelished it to suit them.
  • we do pay tax.

    road upkeep is paid for from council tax, which i asume we all (with very few exceptions) pay.

    "road tax" is based on vehicle emissions, not road use. bycles do not emit.

    :D

    [edit] so, yes i believe the media should tell the truth about how roads are paid for. if anything we should get a reduction in council tax if we don't drive a car. new campaign?[/edit]
  • Simon NotleySimon Notley Posts: 1,263
    pablo2000 wrote:
    The breakdown, for year 2006/7 is actually:

    Fuel tax £23.7 bn
    Vehicle excise duty £5.0 bn
    VAT on vehicles £6.9 bn
    VAT on fuel £6.8 bn
    Company car tax £2.6 bn
    Total £45.0 bn
    Source: HM Revenue & Customs, DVLA, DfT

    Government budget for roads: £7.5 bn

    Where did you get the 7.5bn from? the budget of the Highways Agency alone for 07/08 (not the right year I know) was £6.5bn. I guess that the total local authotity budget for roads is rather less, but would have thought the total would be a bit more than 7.5.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    we do pay tax.

    road upkeep is paid for from council tax, which i asume we all (with very few exceptions) pay.

    "road tax" is based on vehicle emissions, not road use. bycles do not emit.

    :D

    [edit] so, yes i believe the media should tell the truth about how roads are paid for. if anything we should get a reduction in council tax if we don't drive a car. new campaign?[/edit]

    In my email from the DfT (I'd written in after some plank ranted at me for the upteenth time) they said VeD is for emmissions, and monitoring and control of. They did mention another use for the money but I've misplaced the email.

    Annoyingly I contacted the DfT about improving safety around cyclists and actually telling the public what VeD and co were for, and they seemed very unconcerned. I gave them about 10 points and ideas, that even though were very cheap to carry out, they said they felt it didnt warrant following up.

    So in my mind the DfT dont rate cyclists as worthy of their attention. Remember that next time you get on the bike. :?
  • "road tax" is based on vehicle emissions, not road use. bycles do not emit.

    That's a brilliant line of argument :D

    But wait.... one of my bikes is a 2000 frame and has no engine.. so that would cost me £120 according to current rates (post 2001 is the change over to emissions) - yikes :shock: . Still looks like an excuse to change it for a post 01/03/2001 bike - might as well make it a new one.

    I'll try this on the wife" "..... but look, WHEN they eventually get round to making the taxes apply to cyclists, you'll be glad I bought it...."

    Who knows, it might work.


    P.S. Simon, the £7.5bn was actual expenditure on road upgrades and creation of new highways - not the costs of administering, overseeing, policing the roads network. i.e. the cash that made it into tarmac.
    Pablo

    If you think life's unfair, think on... If it was fair, all that sh!t that happens to you would be payback for something.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    pablo2000 wrote:
    Ah... but you forget the other motoring related taxes that irk the average motorist.

    The breakdown, for year 2006/7 is actually:

    Fuel tax £23.7 bn
    Vehicle excise duty £5.0 bn
    VAT on vehicles £6.9 bn
    VAT on fuel £6.8 bn
    Company car tax £2.6 bn
    Total £45.0 bn
    Source: HM Revenue & Customs, DVLA, DfT

    Government budget for roads: £7.5 bn


    But none of those taxes, other than VED,could be applied to the minority cyclist group of road users - so that's what we're persecuted for.

    You can see from above the chronic under investment in the maintenance of the road network for all users - pedal pushers included.

    Taken from the 2007/8 Road User Association 'Roadfile' report, p9: "The RAC Report on Motoring 2007 showed that 71% of motorists thought that the quality of roads is
    noticeably deteriorating. It also reported that 85% of motorists perceived the cost of motoring to be increasing very rapidly. "

    The motorists are aggrieved, so the newspapers write stories that allow them to focus their frustrations on cyclists, those freeloading green obsessed wierdos.

    The figures are suspect... and the "underfunding claim extremely so...

    The M1 widening alone is now at £5.1 Bn and combined with the M25, and M6 is now assessed at some £13 Bn now add repair work, now add the M27 , M23 etc and there is another £6Bn
    So we have a £19Bn expenditure on these specific projects alone.

    Interesting a road widening programme that alone is over twice the claimed investment?

    Now ad other budgets... Yorkshire alone is paying £3/4 Bn for repairs and changes in Bridlington alone!

    The suggested expenditure is naive and erroneous.

    Depending on other figures, if you add costs of Policing the roads, clearing accidents, pollution effects etc the figures areeven more ssupect with a suggestion that even now the true figure is a subsidy to each vehicle of £200 - £1000 per year. An amount raised by VAT on non-motoring items, PAYe etc.

    In a parliamentary answer (Hansard 2006) Jim Fitzpatrick ( for Minister of State for Transport)pointed out that according to the Retail Price Index the true cost of motoring had in fact fallen by 10 % between 1997 and 2006 when compared with other costs of living.

    Of course there will be arguments over what should and shouldn't be included such as Policing or the indirect effects such as noise reduction in the housing stock....

    Also as a separate issue - if we are to add the VAT on cars and fuel - then do we claim that the VAT on bicycles, accessories and cake is also a contribution already being made by cyclists?
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • Cunobelin wrote:
    The figures are suspect... and the "underfunding claim extremely so...
    You may be correct... the figures are from the Road Users Association and may be slightly suspect.. but not out by orders of magnitude.
    Cunobelin wrote:
    The M1 widening alone is now at £5.1 Bn .....
    Interesting a road widening programme that alone is over twice the claimed investment?
    These are programme totals, not single year expenditures. In order to use these figures, you must factor by the programme duration which I'm not certain is even known for the whole works.
    Cunobelin wrote:
    Now ad other budgets... Yorkshire alone is paying £3/4 Bn for repairs and changes in Bridlington alone!
    But these are not central government funded, which was the thrust of point made. If we were to include non central expenditure then we would also have to include the local tax take for road expenditure, which would significantly increase the £45bn. That point also applies to policing etc, by the way.
    Cunobelin wrote:
    The suggested expenditure is naive and erroneous.
    As are the rebuttals! According to the Highways Agency's own 06/07 report the total expenditure on maintenance of the existing network of motorways and trunk roads (which is their remit) was £800m - I quote this just to set the benchmark around the £7,5bn figure, which I accept may have error in it - my point is the likely scale of any error.
    Cunobelin wrote:
    In a parliamentary answer (Hansard 2006) Jim Fitzpatrick ( for Minister of State for Transport)pointed out that according to the Retail Price Index the true cost of motoring had in fact fallen by 10 % between 1997 and 2006 when compared with other costs of living.
    This is a meaningless point, unless we can understand the makeup of the 'cost of motoring' that is used. Is this fuel, purchase cost of vehicles, road tax, windscreen washer fluid, pine tree shaped air fresheners?

    The points I was making were more about the media pandering to motorist paranoia about persecution and the poor state of UK roads in the context of taxes collected from motoring per se.

    Perhaps other think our roads are good or even acceptable? Perhaps others think our media capable only of printing truth with no regard to copy sales?
    Pablo

    If you think life's unfair, think on... If it was fair, all that sh!t that happens to you would be payback for something.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    pablo2000 wrote:
    Ah... but you forget the other motoring related taxes that irk the average motorist.

    The breakdown, for year 2006/7 is actually:

    Fuel tax £23.7 bn
    Vehicle excise duty £5.0 bn
    VAT on vehicles £6.9 bn
    VAT on fuel £6.8 bn
    Company car tax £2.6 bn
    Total £45.0 bn
    Source: HM Revenue & Customs, DVLA, DfT

    Government budget for roads: £7.5 bn

    You left out another tax. Road vehicles are required to have at least third party insurance, which is of course taxable and therefore taxed (can't recall the rate). Bicycles are not required to have such insurance, though of course anyone who is a member of the CTC and the like will get it as part of the membership.

    As I understand it though, the real cost of motoring is actually fallen over time. I've heard the comment that papers like the Sun like to describe the average motoring family as having the decidely non-average car and two of them at that, and sets its winges about the cost of motoring on that basis. While costs may be up in real terms, if the increased cost of motoring over say 10 years was x% but the average in crease in income was x+10% (I don't know the figures so I'm using an example) then the cost of motoring relative to income will have fallen.

    In the same time, despite governments stating they want to move people to using public transport, as an excuse for punitive levels of taxation, the real cost of using has increased at a higher rate, so it is more expensive.

    I think personally the best way to tax vehicles is maybe in the same way other utilities are charged for or at least used to be. For your gas you would remember not only paying for the gas used but also a fixed charge on top of that. Why not the same for roads? Could be a fixed charge based on say CO2 emissions, vehicle's unladen weight or in the case of commercial vehicles the maximum weight; then after that a usage charge that would be there to cover the cost of maintenance and fund new road works.

    Cyclists could be exempt as provisions of anything cycle related is generally so pathetic anyway that it may as well just come out of general revenue, not that it would stop the pathetic wingeing of motorists about how unfair it is they pay when we don't.

    Of course I would be more than happy to pay a cycle tax if I was guaranteed the same as motorists expect, e.g. the facility to cycle wherever I wish on a dedicated seperate network that would be maintained for cyclists alone, not just in towns and cities but between them as well, where I wasn't holding up traffic but also not under constant threat from it either.

    After all they manage that in Germany don't they (the routes, not the tax)

    Pedestrians expect footpaths don't they as well? I don't see Mondeo Man complaining about having to stop every now and then for pedestrian crossings and how pedestrians don't pay road tax and yet have the right to hold up the traffic for the selfish purpose of crossing the road?
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    chuckcork wrote:
    Pedestrians expect footpaths don't they as well? I don't see Mondeo Man complaining about having to stop every now and then for pedestrian crossings and how pedestrians don't pay road tax and yet have the right to hold up the traffic for the selfish purpose of crossing the road?

    No thats why 50% of motorists pretend they dont see pedestrians at crossings and drive around them mid-cross. :roll:
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    The taxation is just that and is general, we don't expect tax on beer to be spent on maintaining pubs, or the tax on bicycles to provide cyclepaths, so why the ridiculous demand that taxation should be specifically targeted to a particular expenditure?

    As for "central taxation" and "central expeniture" - each authority has a grant from Government that i pai for exactly these costs such as infrastructure and evelopment.


    The sad fact is that motoring is becoming cheaper and that if the figures are to be believ there is a greater an greater subsidy.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Cunobelin wrote:
    The taxation is just that and is general, we don't expect tax on beer to be spent on maintaining pubs, or the tax on bicycles to provide cyclepaths, so why the ridiculous demand that taxation should be specifically targeted to a particular expenditure?

    I have to say that is a very well thought out answer!! :shock: 8)
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    downfader wrote:
    Cunobelin wrote:
    The taxation is just that and is general, we don't expect tax on beer to be spent on maintaining pubs, or the tax on bicycles to provide cyclepaths, so why the ridiculous demand that taxation should be specifically targeted to a particular expenditure?

    I have to say that is a very well thought out answer!! :shock: 8)

    Well, of course not, just making a point that if the governmint were to tax us for cyce use I'd expect something to provided for it, not that in any other case tax that has been levied to raise funds for a particular purpose has ever been exclusively spent on that. Think National Insurance and the NHS.

    The flipside is of course that unlike vehicles bikes are more less a loser when it comes to "cash-cow" status with the Treasury, for all the statistics about return on investment for cycle facility provision being way higher than motor vehicle investment.

    Other issue is that bikes are not seen as serious means of transport. What MP would want to show up to the opening of a cycle lane? Much more clout with the constituents if you're seen to be opening a motorway or bypass, rather than a facility for a minority group like cyclists.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • wildmoustachewildmoustache Posts: 4,010
    pablo2000 wrote:
    The real issue is this governments relentless punishment of motorists and the exploitation of same as an easy target. It's almost the same as taxing the usage of electricity or air - what are you going to do, stop using it? Stop breathing? Stop using motor transport?

    The latest 'stab in the back' is imposing a higher rate of VED for big/guzzling cars and making it retrospective back to cars bought from 2001 onwards.

    I don't argue the tax - if you want a car like that you just factor the VED into the running costs and if you're happy with the cost, you pay it. No, it's the retrospective bit. If it was a piece of criminal legislation it would fall foul of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights which forbids retrospective legislation. Fiscal policy is, however, treated as a civil matter and hence they can do it.

    So, why is that the real issue you ask yourself. Consider this: if the top rate of VED was £25 per year, do you think the motorist would object to bikes going free on the roads. If people didn't feel aggrieved by the tax the papers couldn't sell stories that give the disgruntled motorist something else to vent their anger at, i.e. us. The motorist wants to read something that tells them how hard done by they are and go 'yeah! thats right'. So they buy papers that give them that; and so the papers and media produce it for them. Most newspapers are not interested in truth - that doesn't sell copies.

    Finally, as a personal point of view, I wouldn't object to paying some level of Road Tax to use the roads if the money was used for what it was originally put in place for. Who remembers the tax being called the 'Road Fund Licence'? It existed to build, maintain and develop the road network. The reality is that we have certainly the worst roads to ride a bike on in the whole of Europe. In my area, some of them are like a third world country and I know that I take my life in my hands every time I venture out to pick my way round the pot-holes, broken surface, raised ironworks and utility trenches.

    With respect, you are wrong on the tax being retrospective.

    Think about it. Take Council Tax. It's based on the value of the house at a given point in time. Say you buy a house and it's Band C. Then, as happens periodically, the houses are re-assessed. Say your house is now Band D. You pay more tax. On the asset you bought, knowing it was Band C. You were never given a guarantee that it wouldn't it change. Retrospective would mean the Band D rate was applied to previous years.

    You buy a car and the tax is £x. Government decides the tax is going up on that kind of car. You pay more tax. You don't pay more tax for the previous years.
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