Evasion of Vehicle Excise Duty is lower than income from £80 Late Licensing Penalty. - ANPR has done its job , now they just want to watch us.
At the end of 2006 there were 3.4 million vehicles licensed in the UK.
In tax year 2002 – 2003, it is estimated that evasion of the tax equated to a loss to the Exchequer of £206 million.In an attempt to reduce this, from 2004 an automatic £80 penalty (halved if paid within 28 days) is issued by the DVLA computer for failure to pay the tax within one month of the expiry of the previous tax disc. Failure to have paid Vehicle Excise Duty can result in fines up to £1,000.
House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts Evasion of Vehicle Excise Duty Fifth Report of Session 2007–08 Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14 January 2008
1st sentence - "Evasion of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rose to 5% (£214 million) in 2006, up from 3.6% in 2005. Amongst motorcyclists, the evasion rate increased to 38% from 30% the previous year. "
In evidence to the committee on Wednesday 17th 2007
Q71 Mr Touhig Labour MP for Islwyn: Post this report do you think you are now getting the numbers down or not?
Dr Stephen Hickey: Director General Safety, Service Delivery and Logistics, Department for Transport, "The 2007 survey has taken place, it was done in June of this year, but we have not yet got the results. The results will be published, we think,probably early next year, in January."
So therefore the report announced and published today makes very interesting reading.
Figures on Vehicle Excise Duty evasion ( it is no longer "road tax") show that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) collected an estimated 98.5% of all potential revenue from road tax in 2007 - some £4.6Bn.
This year the survey was based on the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, providing a more accurate picture of Vehicle Excise Duty evasion.
Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:
"Using ANPR technology gives us a much clearer picture of the level of VED evasion. I am pleased to see that this survey indicates a low level of evasion - the DVLA is working hard to tackle road tax evasion.
Previously road tax evasion figures were mainly collected manually but the figures are now primarily compiled using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology, giving a more precise reading of evasion levels.
In the Press Release Notes for Editors it states , "Because this new method was used to calculate the 2007 estimates, it is not possible to compare them to earlier figures. " Why not ?It's the only comparison we can make.
The DVLA currently issues an average of 100,000 Late Licensing Penalties (LLP) letters every month - at £80 a throw say 1 MN a year = £80 Mn extra revenue. The projected total volume for 2007/08 is 1.2 million LLPs.
The DVLA has a fleet of ANPR vehicles capable of capturing data on all vehicle types across multiple lanes of traffic. DVLA ANPR units will read over 10 million vehicle movements this year and the Agency will issue penalties against the keepers of every unlicensed vehicle seen in use from that total.
Copies of Vehicle Excise Duty Evasion 2007 are available from the Department's website (PDF!!)
So what are we to make of the report from the Select Committee - they say 5% evasion - £214 Mn. and now the DVLA using more accurate information says it is ( a probably irreducible) 1.5% ( based on 98.5% revenue collection) which = £64 Mn. .. which you may note, is exceeded by the income from the £80 Late Licensing Penalty.
Of course having set up the ANPR cameras everywhere and the "fleet" of ANPR vehicles - which you can be assured will grow it makes it a handy tool to keep tabs on every car owner / driver in our new surveillance society. (See Cleartone suppliers of kit website) "ANPR programs are available that will work in conjunction with existing or new fixed CCTV networks such as shopping mall car parks and town centre camera networks." See also i2ANPR website "Triangulation of ANPR data with telecommunications and financial intelligence can also help in preventing and detecting crime and in disrupting criminal activity, contributing to the realisation of the objective of the ACPO ANPR Steering Group – denying criminals the use of the roads." and we thought they were just collecting Vehicle Excise Duty.
Pic is of a distinctive ANPR van (also called Spectrum in the Home Office) in use. See more here