David McNarry MLA, UKIP’s Leader in Northern Ireland, has spoken up for Northern Ireland’s motorists.
In a hard hitting attack on the “trick-cyclist Roads Minister” Danny Kennedy, Mr McNarry has said :
“All we hear about from this Minister is cycle lanes. He is the trick-cyclist Roads Minister who has complete disregard for motorists. He has completely messed up the centre of Belfast doing untold economic damage to city centre businesses. Now what I have discovered from the Department of Regional Development’s own published figures, is that an average of £160 a year is being raised from each of Northern Ireland’s 1,050,000 motorists but only £118 a year is being spent on maintaining the roads. That means that some £44 million a year raised through vehicle excise duty from Northern Ireland’s motorists is not being spent repairing the roads. It is disgraceful because far less per mile is already spent on roads maintenance here than in the rest of the UK. Since DRD is responsible for roads maintenance it should seek the transfer of vehicle excise duty.”
“While I know that the link between the old Road Fund licence (now the Vehicle Excise duty) and road repair was ended in 1937, like many I believe there should be a moral obligation for all of the vehicle excise duty – and more – to be spent on maintaining our roads infrastructure. What I found from the DRD’s own statistics was that :
· In 2010 there were 1,050,481 registered vehicles on Northern Ireland’s roads
· with a tax evasion rate of only 7%
· and 25,373 kilometres of public road
· In 2010, £124 million was spent on roads maintenance – structural, routine and winter.
· That is a spend of £118.85 per registered vehicle.
· DRD 2010 figures say 249,000 vehicles nationally evaded tax and this equated to a loss of £40 million.
· This suggests that the average road tax per vehicle is £160 per year.
· In 2010 the DRD Minister spent £118 a vehicle, £42 per vehicle short of what was raised
· In 2014 this has risen to only £138, still £22 per vehicle short of what was raised
· This represents between £23 million and £44 million a year raised in taxes from NI motorists but not spent on roads maintenance.
The logic of all this is clear. Motorists are being ripped off. They are the victims of this cuckoo-land Executive and this trick-cyclist Minister.
Well, UKIP is speaking up for Northern Ireland’s 1,050,000 motorists. I am demanding that each year the Minister publishes the amount raised in Vehicle Excise duty and the amount he is spending on roads maintenance side by side so we can all see just how much we are being ripped off. I am also calling for every penny that is raised in vehicle excise duty is spent of roads infrastructure and that this is topped up to bring roads maintenance spending up to English levels. In 2008 Northern Ireland was spending only 18% per mile of what England was spending on roads maintenance and while the situation has improved since then, it still falls far short. Roads maintenance shortcomings help confirm Northern Ireland’s status as the most over-governed and worst governed part of the UK.”