Saturday, 1 September 2012

PUBLIC SUBSIDIES FOR PRIVATE MOTORISTS

Kent Green Party notes that private motorists continue to be subsidised by the State, whereas bus and train users have experienced massive increases in fares in recent years. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, explains:
“Kent motorists are being supported by taxpayers, including those in the 25% of households which do not have access to a car. How? Motorists only paid about £32 billion in fuel duty and excise duty in 2011. In the same year, the complete social and environmental costs of car travel were about £56 billion(1), including the business costs of delays generated by traffic congestion which the Confederation of British Industry has often complained about(2). So the current subsidy to private motorists in the UK is running at about £24 billion a year.
“From 2001-2011, rail fares increased 62% in real terms and bus fares by 69%. But revenue from motoring taxes has actually decreased during the last ten years. Delays in increasing fuel duty mean a loss to the Exchequer amounting about £14 billion over the next five years (3). So motorists are not hard done by, they have a rising level of public subsidy.
“Kent Highways should divert more of its resources to essential activities which support: public health by cutting air pollution; better bus services; walkers; cyclists; pothole repair and 20 mph limits in residential areas. Road-building and widening only makes the subsidy to private motorists bigger, and should not be supported anywhere in Kent and Medway.

Ends c250 words

FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery, Chair, KENT GREEN PARTY
07970 436029. Contact address as above. http://www.stuartjeffery.net Alternate contact, Steve Dawe, Press Officer on 07747 036192 or 01732 355185. Please leave message if necessary on any of these numbers and we will try to get back to you shortly. KENT GREEN NEWS, free monthly ezine, is available at www.kentgreenparty.org Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
Notes:
1.      Pp2-3 Institute for Public Policy Research  The War on Motoring: myth and reality: http://www.ippr.org/publication/55/9542/the-war-on-motorists-myth-or-reality This must include road spending and the costs of A&E and policing, as well as the health costs of air pollution which kills about 29,000 people a year in the UK. SEE: Air Pollution: the invisible killer www.keithtaylormep.org.uk


2.      CBI: http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2011/04/uk-needs-strategic-vision-for-the-road-network-cbi/ The CBI estimates congestion costs about £8 bn per year but it depends what is included: for a wide choice of higher estimates, see: http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?id=30150
3.      IPPR, p.3, as above.

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