Moving on (think piece)31 Oct 2011

Fairer motoring taxes and investment for growth and jobs

Brian Wadsworth is a former senior civil servant at the Department for Transport. He is currently a director of the Road Ahead Group. In Moving On, he argues for a change in motoring taxation:

“Britain urgently needs growth. But just when we most need investment to keep our economy moving, the state has run out of money. Unless we can find a new direction, we face a future of potholes, delays and ultimately gridlock on our roads and motorways. That’s a future we simply can’t afford.

“What can be done? Complex answers such as universal road pricing have become stalled in endless argument. There’s little appetite amongst the public at large or our political representatives for solutions which entail substantial investment, burdensome administrative overheads and complex, unpredictable bills for drivers. We have to find an easier way ahead.

“This report proposes a straightforward restructuring of a familiar motoring tax: Vehicle Excise Duty. It would make motoring taxes fairer, incentivise
smart journey choices and provide guaranteed funding for investment in new capacity. It could be phased in and wouldn’t entail massive start-up costs.

“From the driver’s seat, the new system would be predictable and easy to understand. It’s time to move on, to fairer motoring taxes and investment for growth and jobs.”