The Highwayman

highwayman

“Hear me people. We have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break and the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule”

Chief Sitting Bull speaking at the Powder River conference in 1877

A Highwayman has taken to our streets, highways and wallpaper. A horse tied to the railings at No.11 Downing Street reveals the identity of the criminal as the incumbent, Mr.George Osborne, Chancellor (and chancer) of the Exchequer. I expect he will be phoning his barrister or arranging for my transportation to a penal colony for such an accusation.

Below I present the case for the prosecution.

Under the new rules, dating back to October 2014, DVLA no longer issue the Tax Disc, which was first introduced in 1921. The new system employs the wonders of digital tech, a ”move into the modern age’ according to the Treasury, to inform, issue and collect road tax. This seems imminently sensible, whilst also removing paper waste, approx.72 tons per annum, from the system and the DVLA’s contribution to a green revolution. Well maybe. I suspect there may be a Jeremy Clarkson Design added to the Autumn Collection at Osborne and Little.

Buying a second hand car previously had sometimes the bonus of a prepaid tax disc with some months to run before having to be renewed by the new ‘keeper’. That has now gone meaning the new ‘keeper’ is immediately responsible for updating the road tax while the previous owner receives a refund. Stay with me as the devious manoeuvres of the Treasury and said Minister are yet to come.

The flip side of the new system is more Gutenberg Press than high end digital. If a vehicle sold on carries a valid tax disc with some months to run the DVLA will reimburse the owner for full calendar months as with the old system. So a vehicle sold mid month is refunded from the beginning of the following month. However the new ‘keeper’ will pay from the beginning of the month in which the vehicle is purchased. In simple terms the car is taxed twice for the same month. With 42% of motorists unaware of the implications of the changes that’s a big lump of free money to the Treasury.

When I queried the DVLA on this their pat response was ” That is the rule”. So we have a 21st Century vehicle taxing system that leans heavily on the exploits of Dick Turpin, the 18th century highwayman, or a clever wheeze the Chancellor picked up from his banking cronies.

Application of “Modern Age” technologies provide us with the ability to make measurements to the Nth decimal point, discover exo- planets in solar systems light years from our own, yet DVLA cannot divide months up into days, hours and minutes. If this ‘new’ system is to be accepted as new then someone needs their knuckles rapped Mr.Osbourne.

p.s. will it be back to wallpaper salesman after the election?

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