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Government answers road tax report criticism

Date: 16 November 2009

The Government has responded to a host of criticisms in a report on road taxes from the Parliament's Transport Select Committee published earlier this year. Here are the highlights.

1. The report criticised the Government's inconsistent justification of motoring taxes on either environmental or revenue-raising grounds. The Government countered by saying that primarily they are revenue raising, but where possible and appropriate environmental factors are built in.

2. Countering comments that a simple tax on fuel would be the most effective way of raising revenue and achieving green pressures on motorists, the Government defended its wider tax strategy saying it wanted to pressure car makers into building greener cars, as well as reducing emissions from driving.

3. A request to clarify its stance on road user charging was met with a commitment from the transport secretary not to introduce a scheme in the next parliament, although the DfT and Treasury would continue to explore systems for the future.

4. On the subject of the workplace parking levy system the Government committed to developing guidance for introducing schemes, but stopped short of committing to offering help on how cities should be consulted - a recommendation of the report.

5. The report called for more funds from traffic penalty charges to go to solving the problem causing the offences rather than the fines be used for revenue raising. The Government supported this approach, adding that all authorities should aim for "100% compliance with no penalty charges".