Tax dodgers cost councils millions

CAR tax dodgers cost local authorities in Suffolk and Essex an incredible £8.6 million in lost revenue.The figures were released as the Government announced a new crackdown on motorists who do not tax or insure their vehicles.

CAR tax dodgers cost local authorities in Suffolk and Essex an incredible £8.6 million in lost revenue.

The figures were released as the Government announced a new crackdown on motorists who do not tax or insure their vehicles.

Under the scheme, which comes into force in January 2004, drivers will be hit with automatic £80 fines if they fail to properly register and licence their cars.

The fines will be triggered by computerised tax records, meaning that there will be no need for police or cameras to physically spot an unlicensed vehicle on the road.


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The plans, which will also see persistent offenders fined a minimum of £1,000, were announced yesterday by Transport Minister David Jamieson.

He explained that there are currently an estimated one million unlicensed vehicles on the road in the country, with 52,000 in Essex and 27,000 in Suffolk.

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The Government claims that these unlicensed vehicles are frequently dumped, which costs authorities more money, and are involved in crime and often are uninsured.

Last year, Essex County Council disposed of around 10,000 abandoned cars, while councils in Suffolk got rid of almost 6,000.

The overall cost of uninsured driving is said to be about £500 million - adding up to £30 to the annual insurance premium of the average motorist.

Mr Jamieson said: “Vehicle crime is estimated to cost the economy £3billion each year and accounts for more than a quarter of all reported crime.

“It is an expensive burden on the honest citizen. By ensuring vehicles do not fall out of the registration system, we can reduce the number of unlicensed and often uninsured vehicles on the road, tackling car abandonment and bringing dishonest motorists to book.

“These new measures will protect the majority of honest and responsible motorists, make the system more secure and make the offenders pay.”

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