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War On Motorists A Myth Says Think Tank

War On Motorists A Myth Says Think Tank

Motor Blogger isn’t here to make political points, after all, we’re a car blog; but the news has to be reported and a new report has just come to light that may be of interest.

If you think that, nationally, your opinion doesn’t account for very much, then you’d be right. For decades motorists have complained that the government, amongst others, was fleecing them. Drivers feel that they are an easy target for taxation and sundry other forms of revenue raising but, apparently, all this time, they have all been wrong.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (who presumably get paid quite a lot for this stuff) are a left-leaning think tank who attempt to advise the government of the day. This quango has said – and this will make you laugh – that there is no ‘war on motorists’, instead they state that rail and bus users were the ones being hit.

Bizarrely, they miss the obvious. Rail and bus users are hit by price rises from private industries. This is the way of the world – to make profit. Drivers are hit by increased taxation – a method of raising money for profligate and inefficient governments to spend and waste as they fit. Certainly drivers are also affected by increases in the market rate for fuel but it is absolutely clear that roughly half of the price we pay for petrol is tax. Obviously, these taxes additionally add pain to users of public transport as well.

Nevertheless the IPPR is having none of it. They believe the powers that be should press ahead with fuel duty increases and prioritise spending on public transport. Excuse us? Previous administrations washed their hands of the trains and the buses years ago and hived them off to private ownership. How then, are they to be involved in this private enterprise except perhaps for transport capital projects which, in any case, should come out of transport company profits.

The IPPR quote these figures. They say that the cost of motoring has risen by 32.5% between 1997 and 2010. This is apparently a ‘fall in real terms’, as if the government were in some way responsible for this and not motor manufacturers who thankfully have made new cars much more efficient. Certainly, the government can’t be held responsible for the horrendous rise in car insurance, unless, of course, you take into account they’re allowing of the rise in the compensation culture.

Rail fares have risen 66.2% and bus fares an astonishing 76.1% according to the IPPR figures with further increases to come. This is not doubt true but it is because the privates companies involved have raised them – not the government.

It remains to be seen whether or not our leaders will pay any attention to this given that they, and not the IPPR, are subject to the ire of the voters. Naturally, revenues need to be raised, but to make such a declaration at a time when drivers are delving deeper than ever into their wallets is, to say the least, inconsiderate and totally out of kilter with the mood of the country.

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==