Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Yes I *DO* pay Road Tax

It's a commonly-heard complaint in the UK that "cyclists don't pay Road Tax". This is apparently considered justification for all manner of dangerous, aggressive and incompetent behaviour on the part of car drivers - you don't pay tax, so it's ok to drive into you. There are numerous reasons why this argument is invalid a priori, and of course the sociopathic conclusion doesn't follow from the premise anyway, but I can't be bothered going into that in more detail here (see here and here for some of the arguments).

What I can be bothered blogging about is the fact that the Chancellor the Exchequer (and Prime Minister in waiting) has just introduced a new banded system of Vehicle Excise Duty ("Road Tax" in common parlance) which specifies a nil rate for vehicles with sufficiently low emissions. There aren't many cars in the bottom band ("A"), but a bicycle would certainly slot right in there!

I expect an innovative clothing supplier or cycling activist group to start offering t-shirts for sale with a "Band A Vehicle" logo :-)

[Of course the pedants may still point out that technically, we still don't pay this tax on bicycles, they are exempt. But in practical terms, it's good enough for me (um...or would be, if I was in the UK).]

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