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LGA - Motorists paying over £1,000 per year in Treasury taxes

Analysis shows that the average motorist is paying more than £1,000 a year to the Treasury in charges and taxes.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said the figures show it is time for a fairer deal for motorists and long-overdue Government investment in our crumbling road network.

Government collects around £38 billion a year in taxation through Vehicle Excise Duty, fuel duty and VAT on fuel. With 34 million cars on the UK's roads, it means the average driver is now paying the Treasury £1,117 each year.

Local authorities are having to bear the brunt of public sector cuts and will have seen their highways maintenance budgets cut by 20 per cent by 2015. It would take an estimated £10.5 billion to clear the current backlog in road repairs.

In comparison, councils receive an average of £35 from each motorist a year through parking, having cut charges in real terms.

Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said:

"Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists, keeping a lid on parking charges and fixing more potholes than ever before, in the face of deep funding cuts imposed by the Government.

"The stark reality is that the average car driver is paying 30 times more to fill the Treasury's coffers to use a transport system that is crumbling under decades of underfunding.

"The backlog in repairs is growing longer each year with the town hall bill to clear it at £10.5 billion and rising. That is why councils now need increased and consistent highways funding to invest in the widespread resurfacing projects desperately needed for a long-term improvement."

Notes for editors

1. Taxation and fuel duty estimates for 2013/14 published by the RAC Foundation's 'Fuel for thought' show Government is set to receive £38 billion from motorists this year.

2. The average charges and taxes per driver are calculated through dividing the total motoring related taxation collected by central government by the number of vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain (34.5 million). This figure is rounded to the nearest 100. The most recent statistics on licensed vehicles is available through the annual vehicle licensing statistics 2012, Table VEH0104:
Vehicle licensing statistics 2012 – on the .gov.uk website

3. Councils receive around £1.2 billion a year from parking. When off-street parking is included, the total sum (that is, on-street and off-street parking charges and penalty notices, minus costs of providing parking services) received by councils in England was £411 million in 2011/12. In the same period, council highways and transport spending in England was roughly 20 times as great, standing at £8.11 billion in 2011/12.

4. Department for Transport figures show that parking charges fell in real terms between 2009/10 and 2011/12:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmtran/writev/parking/m04.htm – on the parliament.uk website

5. Councils are receiving £3 billion from Government for highways maintenance between 2011 and 2015. This is the accumulation of the annual Highways Maintenance Budget and is £442 million less than councils would have received over the same period based on 2010/11 funding levels. By 2014/15 the Highways Maintenance Budget will be £164 million a year less than in 2010/11, a 19 per cent drop.

The breakdown of Government cuts to councils' annual Highways Maintenance Budget is: 2010/11: £871 million 2011/12: £806 million 2012/13: £779 million 2013/14: £750 million 2014/15: £707 million Government cuts to councils' general funding will reach 43 per cent by 2015.


Simon Ward
Senior Media Relations Officer
Local Government Association
Telephone: 0207 664 3147

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