Strange bias by the equally strange Roger Harrabin here on the issue of whether there is such a thing as “road tax’. In essence, it strikes me as a polemic in pro-cyclist anti-motorist pedantry. The BBC hates motorists and loves cyclists.
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What a bizarre article. I look forward to the article telling me there’s no such thing as the bedroom tax.
There is no such thing as the ‘bedroom tax’. There is a reduction in the amount of money welfare claimants are given if they have spare rooms – or am I missing something where you mean that the BBC won’t keep banging on about bedroom taxes?
So because it’s not actually called a tax, then it isn’t a tax. Right… So if I hit Roger in the face but call it, say, a hearty greeting then I wouldn’t be prosecuted?
Don’t forget, the BBC doesn’t consider the license fee a tax either, even though you have to pay it if you so much as look at a television.
A masterpiece from the Prof. Clinton School of Delusional Semantics.
Doubtless inspired by that off-narrative term ‘TV poll tax’ gaining popular use.
They’d prefer it’s actually known as a licence… only people in the UK have to pay to keep the BBC in pensions, pay-offs, hush-ups, parties… and a bit left over to report Jezza’s facial hair. Or pop out MB press releases as ‘news’.
No matter what. Or else. In 2013. In a global village era where information is shared freely.
Well unfortunately he’s right in some parts. It isn’t road tax, which begs the question how on earth the grasping government can justify this heinous tax just to own a car. At least the roads aren’t biased though in favour of red cars over blue!
He’s not right that the newer formula is based on a ‘pollution tax’ as a car in band G driven 100 miles, does not pollute as much as a car in band A driven 10,000 miles, and yet the tax is 20 times higher.
By his argument though, VAT isn’t a tax because it was never collected by the Inland Revenue, it was administered by HM Customs & Excise.
‘right in some parts’
For a professional, state-of-the-art, ‘news’ medium seeking trust, I’d have to say that is hardly a bar to shout from the rooftops.
Isn’t it now HMRC which incorporates both?
Yes, that is correct.
hence the past tense !
Vehicle Excise Duty was originally a hypothecated tax, intended to be used for road building and maintenance, but as usual, the Treasury collared it for general purposes. But I don’t see the point being made here. To drive a car on the road you have to pay a tax; you don’t have to pay a tax to pedal a bike.
First, they created ‘parking meters’. ‘To make those who use the road, pay for the road, you see?’ Then, they created ‘road tax’. ‘To make those who use the road, pay for the road, you see?’ Then, they created ‘fuel duty’. ‘To make those who use the road, pay for the road, you see?’ Then, they created ‘toll roads’. ‘To make those who use the road, pay for the road, you see?’ Next, they will create ‘real-time satelite monitoring of road usage’. ‘To make those who use the road, pay for the road, you see?’
Meanwhile, the truth is that fuel tax alone collects about 10 times what is spent on the roads annually.
August 15, 2013 at 8:35 am
‘To drive a car on the road you have to pay a tax’ – except this is untrue – a falsehood, because Band-A vehicles are exempt from a charge and therefore qualify for a zero cost Vehicle Excise Duty. VED is a pollution tax, drive a vehicle that causes less pollution and you don’t need to pay VED.
Which means VED is an optional tax.
Pedal cyclists, horse-riders and pedestrians are all road users, but being unmotorised are exempt.
Beeboids don’t always like driving themselves, except on expenses, but love chauffeurs, taxis and planes.
“How the BBC drives down costs… by spending £200,000 on chauffeurs” (2011.)
“Still the BBC’s black hole of Salford swallows your cash: £15,000 on Gary Lineker’s taxis. Star presenters commuting by jet. And now even the boss behind that £1bn move north won’t leave London” (2013.)
It’s harder and harder to like anyone working at the Beeb when you read stuff like this. I thought Lineker would be safe, overpaid though he undoubtedly is, but not anymore.
Personally I think that the “road fund licence” should be removed and replaced with an additional levy on petrol so that the tax paid would have a direct relationship with road usage – after all why should a pensioner pay the same amount of tax on their car as a company rep when they do a fraction of the mileage?
The only thing in favour of the tax disk is that its issue is dependant on the user proving that they have valid insurance and an MOT – but cyclists have no requirement to prove that they keep their bicycles in good running order or that they have taken steps to ensure that they can pay for any damage or injury that their road use might cause.
In the world of the BBC using a bicycle grants you a status akin to sainthood – unless you are a politician using it as a cynical prop to garner votes.
If cyclists want equality on the roads then let them have the same level of responsibility as motorists – driving licences, MOTs and road tax.
Nooo, don’t you know how equality works for these perennial victim groups? Equality (or, preferably, superiority) of results, but without the same responsibilities or burdens as anyone else. Ask anyone from ‘UK Feminista’ or ‘Mumsnet.’
“If cyclists want equality on the roads then let them have the same level of responsibility as motorists – driving licences, MOTs and road tax. ”
And most importantly third party insurance ,mandatory
for all other road users
I agree about putting road tax (because that’s what it is) on petrol and have been puzzled as to why all the main parties have shied away from it for so long
Might not be called road tax, but it is a tax for using the road, so it’s a very good accurate descriptive name. If you declare your car off-road, that you don’t have to pay vehicle excise duty, so vehicle tax, car tax etc is a misleading name because it is not a tax on cars, it is a tax on road use, road tax for shortl.
The silly semantic gymnastics so loved by the left and approved of by the BBC is at work again here, trying to promote some green agenda.
August 15, 2013 at 11:43 am
“Might not be called road tax, but it is a tax for using the road, so it’s a very good accurate descriptive name. If you declare your car off-road, that you don’t have to pay vehicle excise duty, so vehicle tax, car tax etc is a misleading name because it is not a tax on cars, it is a tax on road use, road tax for shortl.”
Vehicle Excise Duty is a pollution tax, not a charge for using the road. Your bogus argument is shown for what it is by the fact that Band-A cars are entitled to a zero-cost VED. The rest of your argument was similarly unconvincing.
The Treasury collects approximately £50 billion a year in motoring taxes including VED, fuel duty, VAT and purchase tax. Around £10 billion is then spent on roads, including a huge chunk (I think it might even be as high as 50%) on ‘road safety’ e.g. traffic ‘calming’, pointless re-design of junctions, painting pretty patterns on the roads, boxes to show where a bus needs to align itself at bus stops etc etc.
The motorist is nothing more than a milch cow – his reward being overcrowded roads and an endless vista of jaw-juddering, spring-breaking, wheel-cracking potholes.
“The motorist is nothing more than a milch cow” – Nothing could be further from the truth.
Naturally, you ignore the inconvenient fact of motoring’s external costs, for which motorists make no direct contribution.
A 2012 report concluded that each registered car in the UK was subsidised on average by just over 2,000 Euro per year. It is important to know that this was despite paying Vehicle Excise Duty and Fuel Duty. It does not consider the costs of congestion, which are mostly caused by cars. Estimates vary but £20-30 bn p.a.
The True Costs of Automobility: External Costs of Cars
Overview on existing estimates in EU-27
Dresden, October 12th, 2012
The article seems OK to me.
There is no such thing as road tax. That’s a simple fact.
That a minority of dangerous, arrogant and ignorant drivers think that there is such a tax and that its imaginary existence gives them more right to the road than anyone else is slightly newsworthy and therefore worthy of a short article like this.
Your emotive language tells us as we need to know.
Cheers for that.
If you are saying there is no such thing as a ‘Road Tax’ (note capital letters indicating a proper noun), then technically you would be correct. However to say there is no such thing as road tax, i.e. a tax for using a car on the road, is incorrect even if it is called vehicle excise duty.
As already pointed-out
” to say there is no such thing as road tax, i.e. a tax for using a car on the road, is incorrect ….” – is itself a falsehood.
A “trawl through Youtube” is his data set? No confirmation bias there, then. And no actual proof whatsoever of the causality between belief in the existence of a road tax and deliberately endangering cyclists. Of course, Harrabin never really intended to make a real case for this. He’s just seized on an incident as a platform for his lecture, and too bad if it gives anyone the wrong idea.
Typical BBC advocacy posing as journalism. But that’s the danger of having these titled, privileged “editors”: they are licensed opinion-mongers. What’s the point of this article other than a paean to cyclists and a scolding of everyone else?
David Preiser (USA) says:
August 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm
“… And no actual proof whatsoever of the causality between belief in the existence of a road tax and deliberately endangering cyclists.”
Well yes there is. If one wants personal proof, ride a bicycle and sooner or later some irate driver will attempt to educate one otherwise.
But there’s more! A search for ‘#bloody cyclists’ will find the results of exactly such an irrational belief in mythical road-tax.
Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons – J Peter. Rothe
University of Alberta associate professor of Public Health researched just this topic for his book Driven to Kill: Vehicles As Weapons. He writes about intentional violence of all types aided by automobile. A central theme of this book, according to Dr Rothe, is that “police investigations are not engaged on the assumption that a driver deliberately uses his vehicle as a weapon for maiming or killing a pedestrian, cyclist, or other roadway users.”
He has a chapter on violence against cyclists in particular, violence which is motivated by a motorist’s feeling of entitlement to the road and irritation that cyclists don’t pay a mythical ‘road tax’ amongst other imagined sins and shortcomings. [paraphrased]
And your point was?
My point, Amoeba, was that the BBC report provided no proof whatsoever. You have dishonestly elided my comment in a way that leaves out my statement that Harrabin provided no actual proof of causality. I didn’t say no proof exists anywhere in the world, yet you seem to be pretending that’s what I did. You either have a reading comprehension deficit, or your support for this cause has driven you to act dishonestly.
The fact that you went to the trouble of digging up a bit of research from somewhere else doesn’t mean that Harrabin provided this proof, or that there was anything in the Youtube videos other than a series of anecdotes.
Do you not understand what you’ve done here?
I missed this thread when I posted on this topic in the open thread, my apologies for that. Harrabin’s article really does bring to mind the conversation Alice has with Humpty Dumpty:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
In my view, this passage is required reading for anyone interested in understanding modern leftist thought. Examples are legion, but a couple in particular spring to mind:
Global Warming -> Climate Change
Muslim/Islam -> Islamism
Harrabin’s article offers a view into how the left reframes the debate by redefining words away from their common usage. It pays to be able to spot this process in action, and perhaps unwittingly, his article lets the cat out of the bag as to how this is accomplished.
Sorry guys, but as a mad mountain biker who does over 100 miles a week on fat tires (that’s sport and not work related) I have to go with the bbC here. But then, I am biased towards two wheels on this subject
So if you see a fat Paki dressed in red (mit Red (Rohan) rucksack) sweating like a c-nt, give me a pip.
Does the BBC hack know more about the English language than Fowler (Modern English ) and Eric Partridge (Usage and Abusage ) ?