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10% of UK tax from motoring yet drivers ignored in election

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 10:00
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Show your support with the #Vote4BetterRoads hashtag

AA release their Motorists’ Manifesto prior to the General Election

Stats released by the AA reveal that of the £582.6 billion raised in UK taxes last financial year, almost 10% came from motorists.

UK voters with cars and other vehicles pay more in fuel duty (£26.9bn) alone than UK firms and companies pay in business rates (£26.8bn) and the equivalent of 97.5% of what is received through council tax (£27.5bn). Other motoring taxes raise another £6.1bn in vehicle excise duties, and a further £25bn from VAT on fuel and car sales, company car tax and insurance premium tax.

In return for all of this, road users have to put up with roads that are covered in potholes, puddles and ponds and are often blacked out after midnight. In addition some councils take motorists for a ride with hiked parking permits and minor parking and traffic infringements turned into an alternative tax.

With all of this in mind, the AA has launched its Motorists’ Manifesto, calling on all motorists to support the AA on social media with the #Vote4BetterRoads campaign.

So far in this election campaign little has been said about roads and the voters that rely on them daily apart from the Liberal Democrats floating a £25 hike in Vehicle Excise Duty which is likely to backfire with many drivers.

Over the last 12 months, the AA has been taking the pulse of the great British motorist to find out the issues that matter to them.

Top concerns were:

  • The number one concern for drivers is potholes and the state of the roads. Road condition affects us all, whether on four wheels or, more dangerously, on two. Potholes and poorly maintained roads are a threat to road safety and cost us millions of pounds in punctures, damaged rims and even shock absorbers and suspension. We need more funding ring-fenced to improve the state of the roads.
  • The cost of motoring, despite some recent relief on the fuel forecourt, also remains a concern. Again, no big shock that it comes in at number two on our list. A fuel duty freeze may have helped at the margins but the AA wants to see full fuel price transparency with published wholesale and retail prices and the abolition of tolls in England and Wales.
  • Third was driver behaviour, which is perhaps more surprising. We can’t really hold the government to account for this as the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual. However, ministers can influence levels of road policing and the content of the driving test. We need more cops in cars to target dangerous behavior like tailgating and use of mobiles at the wheel. Better road safety education within the national curriculum from an early age will also help.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Thirty five million drivers, most with a vote, need to influence politicians in this election. We know that transport issues can influence votes locally. Several local councils have been unseated due to unpopular parking polices, so when those canvassers knock on your doors make sure you ask them about motoring matters.

“There is always a fear that the motorist will be made the ‘cash cow’ once the election is over, when political parties feel they can quietly drop manifesto promises. Rest assured, the AA will be putting pressure on the parties to come clean on plans for fuel duty, vehicle excise duty (VED), company car tax and the use of tolls to pay for new and/or improved roads. Indeed, our research found 85 per cent of AA Members are concerned that motoring taxes will increase after the election.”

The AA is calling on all motorists to support the AA #Vote4BetterRoads campaign and are urging drivers to question prospective parliamentary candidates on what they will do to help drivers.