Archive for January 3rd, 2010

January 3rd, 2010

That’ll be an extra 15 quid, Sir

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So the government are planning on extending the ‘victim surcharge‘ which is a levy on fines paid by convicted criminals. Since 2007 a £15 fee has been added to the penalty of all people convicted at court of a crime. This has, allegedly, been used to fund support services for victims of crime.

It now appears the government wish to extend the scheme to fixed penatly tickets for motorists. Details aren’t yet set but the BBC news is reporting that speeding offences & parking fines would be among those targeted for the extra fee. A £60 ticket for speeding, no seatbelt or mobile phone use would rise to £75.

Critics call it a stealth tax on an easy target; the motorist, who already pays billions to the goverment every year for non motoring revenue raising such as shoring up the benefits system. The money does not go to victims of crime but to services which support victims, so has nothing to do with compensating people. Apparently, there is £40 million in unpaid compensation – I have several awards of compensation which were never paid to me & never followed up by anyone with any interest in making sure I got the compensation.  My own attempts to recover it were completely fruitless – so I have some sympathy with many thousands of people in a similar situation.

I can’t help thinking that support services for victims ought to be funded centrally by government & that any such extra levy on fines should be used to pay out the victims instantly rather than the court agreeing to a payment system of about 5 pence a year & failing to collect any of it. They should then rigourously pursue the convicted for repayment of that compensation.

Stealth tax or not, it is actually a fee which is reasonably easy to avoid for most people with a modicum of road sense.