I'm trying without much success to get my head around these proposed new road charges here in the UK. Now, it may surprise you to hear that we already pay a shitload for the privilege of mobility in this country (or not, depending on how much you know about our ridiculously socialist little island).
Every year I pay about £120 for road tax. For that I get a little paper disc to stick to my windscreen that gives me the right to use public roads without the inconvenience of being pulled over every so often and slapped with a big fine.
That's just for starters. I drive about 200 miles a week, and pay somewhere in the region of £20 in the average week for petrol, a little over a a thousand a year. Considering my pittance of a salary that equals almost 10% of my income. Now, here's the rub. About 75% of that money - about £750 a year - is fuel tax. Most of my mileage is work related, so effectively I pay an extra 7.5% in tax.
Now the government are proposing to charge road users a fee per mile, ranging from 2p per mile on the back roads to a whopping £1.34 a mile on the motorways during peak times. In exchange they propose to cut fuel tax. I'm not sure if they mean remove the fuel tax completely or just reduce it, but either way I'm baffled. I'm sure I'd end up paying £1.34 at least a few times a week, so I'll effectively be paying more to drive to work than I'll actually earn at work.
I pay income tax - about 20% of my salary - a portion of which is used to maintain the roads and build the new ones. I pay road tax every year, which pays for the light bulbs in traffic lights and for the paint for the white lines in the middle of the road. I also pay £750 a year in fuel tax, a sum that equals the GDP of several small African nations. I have to drive. I really have no choice. If I can't drive I can't work, and Sortapundit goes hungry. I can't even cut down my mileage. I don't spend my down time randomly clogging up traffic on the motorways. I drive just enough to do the job.
Now what kind of psychotic, petty little beurocratic fuckhead thought it would be a good idea to charge me for every mile I drive? If I find him I'll kill him. I'm serious.