Wallets on wheels. That’s the term the AA is using to describe motorists after it was discovered car owners contribute more than £1,000 each every year in taxes to the Treasury, according to the Local Government Association.
The Association, which represents 370 councils across the UK, said the Treasury will pocket £38 billion from Vehicle Excise Duty, fuel duty and VAT in the current financial year – an increase of £400 million on the previous year.
Divided between the 34 million cars estimated to be on the road, the figure equates to £1,117 – up by £28 on the previous 12 months.
Despite the vast quantities of cash being siphoned from motorists, councils are still struggling to maintain the roads. The LGA has come under attack for having a £10.5 billion repair backlog.
An AA spokesman said: “Whichever way they turn drivers are wallets on wheels for the government and local councils – not only do they pay motoring taxes to the government and parking charges to local councils most also pay council tax, a proportion of which should go towards the roads too.
“The problem is that not enough of what is taken by either is spent on maintaining the roads.
“Nearly everything that moves in the UK uses roads and so they are vital to our economy and well-being.
“Politicians have to make tough decisions when it comes to spending but maintaining the integrity of our road system never seems to be high enough up the political agenda”.
However transport minister Robert Goodwill defended the Government’s record on road maintenance.
“Councils have been given billions by the Government for road maintenance and filling-in potholes on local roads and we expect them to use it,” he said.
“We know how important well maintained public highways are to drivers, cyclists and businesses.
“We will continue to work with industry and councils to ensure they manage their budgets more efficiently to make taxpayers’ money go further.”