April 30th, 2009

Squeezing it dry

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

The motorist has a long & fine tradition with governments of providing a source of funds for things which have nothing to do with using your car on the road. Road tax, petrol duty, speeding tickets etc.

The latest idea to raise even more cash from the motorist for non-related fund-boosting is to stick a surcharge on to fixed penalty tickets.

Currently, courts are able to add a “victim surcharge” of £15 over & above any fine. The cash is designed to go directly to victims of hate & sexual crimes, organisations supporting families in murder cases & services helping domestic violence courts.

The surcharge is currently only handed out by the courts but Justice Minister Jack Straw wants to add it on to fixed penalty tickets. A speeding ticket, for instance, would rise from £60 to £75.

The victim surcharge started in April 2007. In the 9 months from April 2008 it raised some £6.6million. If added to fixed penalty tickets it would raise many millions more, £45million from speeding tickets alone. A mere drop in the ocean when compared to the many billions the government have lost in the banking fiasco, but hey, those bath plug expense claims have got to be funded from somewhere.

I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for people caught speeding, after all, you do the crime you do your time, but I do get increasingly annoyed at the goverment’s insistence that the motorist has to fund everyone else.

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