Fleet News

Tax–per–mile plan 'disaster' for fleets

CALLS for a radical shake-up of motoring taxes would send the price of fuel rocketing and fleet costs soaring, it has been claimed.

Nick Brown, managing director of Black-i Vehicle Management, spoke out following publication of RAC research suggesting motorists would back a tax shake-up that put the £42 billion tax they currently pay directly on fuel (Fleet NewsNet, January 27).

The RAC Report on Motoring 2004 found that motorists consider the current taxation system to be unfair and favour putting the tax burden on those who use most fuel and cause most damage to the environment.

They believe such a move would ensure tax cheats pay up by charging them at the point of use and according to how much they drive. But Brown said: 'If such a suggestion were adopted it would, once again, penalise law-abiding citizens.

'The Government should introduce robust mechanisms to crack down hard on people who avoid existing motoring taxes and insurance. The RAC should be acting as the motorists' friend and not promoting such ideas on behalf of drivers in its survey. 'Company car and van drivers don't want to clock up high mileages – they do it because it is a requirement of their jobs. If fuel prices rocketed to the level being promoted, there would be an uproar.

'Business costs would soar and that, in turn, would fuel consumer price rises and inflation. It would be a disaster.'

Brown added that the Government already treated motorists as a cash cow as it was reinvesting less than one-tenth of the money raised from motorists in road improvements.

He added: 'This is a disgrace. This already unfair burden is made even worse when, as we saw in the last few days, a few inches of snow on Britain's roads results in the nation coming to a grinding halt.

'Significantly more of the motoring taxes already collected should be used to solve our transport problems. Those problems include cracking down on tax and insurance cheats and not asking law-abiding drivers to pay more.'

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