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Pay-as-you-go Road Tax proposals would force low paid off the road

13 February, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle Election Candidate, Martina Anderson has said that British government plans to replace Road Tax with a system of 'road pricing' would force the low paid off our roads and do little to tackle environmental concerns about Co2 emmissions.

Martina Anderson said:

"British government plans to introduce a form of 'road pricing' to replace the traditional Road Tax would force people on low and fixed incomes off the roads.

"The proposal would mean that every car owner would have to purchase a tracking device, at an estimated cost of £200, that would then register the extent of road use by each vehicle and incur a monthly bill.

"This is not a genuine attempt to deal with our over-dependence on private cars for transport. It is yet another example of stealth taxes that this British Labour government is obsessed with. It is not a progressive approach. It would mean for example that parents living in rural areas where there is no provision of school transport would be penalised.

"Such a plan would do little to tackle the environmental impact of car use or tackle the huge problems created by congestion in and around our main arterial routes.

"What we need is a commitment to investment in the public transport infrastructure that offers people a viable, efficient and reliable alternative to individual car use. We need to cut down on the distances that people are forced to travel in terms of schools and jobs.

"We also need to see an approach to regional and economic development that locates jobs and investment in infrastructure to sustain economic growth closer to where people live and the decentralisation of jobs, particularly civil service jobs, away from Belfast." ENDS

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