We shouldn’t be too surprised that MPs seem so completely disconnected from motoring issues.
For most of them, driving is something that happens to other people. Government ministers are whisked everywhere in the back of taxpayer-funded Jags, to the extent that our own Prime Minister has never felt it necessary to get a driving licence.
And between the free flights, free train travel and generous taxi accounts, even backbenchers rarely have to actually drive themselves anywhere.
All of which helps explain why the Commons Environmental Audit Committee reckons that the biggest problem with the controversial recent increase in Vehicle Excise Duty is that it didn’t go far enough.
Indeed, according to chairman Tim Yeo (a Tory), we need the “biggest possible incentive”, including “really penal rates for high-emission cars.”
Great idea, Tim. And why not go the whole hog and make the driver of anything with over 2.0-litres of swept capacity given HMG their bank account details, so that the revenue can take whatever it likes, whenever it likes?
Backdating the road tax revisions to everything made after 2001 has trapped thousands of motorists into the equivalent of negative equity, collapsing residuals (in many cases to considerably less than the outstanding finance on a car) and preventing punters from trading out of their situation.