Mr Hammond and ACAS

Mr Hammond Transport Secretary) promised to end the war on motorists. That is a great idea for the day job.

He should leave the BA dispute to the management and Unions, and to ACAS when they need professional arbitration or neutral chairmanship.

If he wants something else to do he could see how his Regulator of the skies proposes to keep us safe and keep the planes flying, as there are disputes again over airport closures.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Mick Anderson
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I'd be very surprised if the Police will willingly give up such a soft, lucrative target.

    While you're at it, how about an efficiency saving on VED (road tax). The complexity of the current system used to be justified on the basis that on at least one day in the year, every vehicle on the road had been shown to have a current MOT (where applicable) and valid insurance. Now the Police have ANPR, and EU imposed databases of insurance policies and MOTs, the rather expensive disc is very out-moded.

    Delete the disc, and put £0.04 on a litre of fuel. This will be neutral for those who do average mileage in an average car, and encourage people to use smaller cars for shorter journeys. It makes the tax utterly impossible to dodge, eliminates the problem of theft of tax discs from cars, and makes it payable by foreign car and lorry drivers who come here from the continent (assuming that they are here for long enough to need fuel). The cost to the motorist is averaged over the year, rather than a nasty hit every six or twelve months. It would also encourage enthusiasts who keep a little-used car, perhaps for summer use, for shows, or a camper van for occasional weekends away. Such people tend to spend money in small garages to maintain the car, and this would help stimulate that industry. Another department of the DVLA can be abolished – the best sort of saving!

    • Mick Anderson
      Posted May 17, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      For those who will complain that £0.04 on a litre will cripple courier companies and lorry drivers, their extra costs can be claimed back through the corporation tax system. It's a relatively small proportion of vehicles on the road, and using an existing system to correct the anomaly is far better than having an unnecessary system for everybody.

    • Robert K, Oxford
      Posted May 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      This would make sense if Mr Cleggermon was interested in the internal logic of this argument. For zealots there is nothing more attractive than complex tax regimes based on ideology rather than justice. Just think of the fabulously complicated tax arrangements favoured by Brown at the lower end of the pay scale. Complexity allows the zealot to claim how much care and attention he has invested in coming up with a "just" system.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Mick, whilst I broadly agree with your comments I have doubts that any government will give up such a locative tax income, the loss in income would be dramatic so say the least…

      As for classic cars, there already is a zero rated "Historic" VED class for vehicles first registered before (IIRC) 1973, if HMG could see their way to extending the cut off to say Jan 1980* it would help many more enthusiasts keep these (often British) historic vehicle designs on the road.

      A note to the environmentalists, don't underestimate the 'green credentials' of even the higher powered classic cars once total environmental cost of manufacturing a new car and the scrapping of an older car is taken into account, but saying that the above will not overtly affect the sale of new cars and it's respective supply and repair industry either as they are in the main two totally different sectors of the automotive industry.

      * 1981 if someone has an early Audi Quattro!…

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


      Your suggestion is the simplest solution of all, that many of us have previously proposed, and it would save all of the admin at the same time.

      Want to bet that it will not happen, because all governments love to complicate the issue, so they can tinker around, its called power instead of commonsense.

      With all tax on fuel, those that use the roads the most, or drive inefficient vehicles, pay the most tax. no one escapes, unless they syphon petrol from other vehicles.

    • Tedgo
      Posted May 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I have always believed in replacing the disc with an increase in fuel duty, it helps the poor and pensioners who do only a few thousand miles a year.

      If the police want a disc then get the insurance companies to issue an insurance disc along with the certificate of insurance. They did this 40 years ago in South Africa. Perhaps you could have an MOT disc, though I favour no disc at all.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Tedgo, better to make the MOT testing station issue such a disc (considering that most people need to have insurance before being able to submit a vehicle for MOT), and perhaps copy the German type of system were both a vehicle test and insurance disc is affixed to the vehicle index plates – this could, perhaps and in time, be extended to make the plates tamper proof.

  2. Robert K, Oxford
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    It's all eerily reminiscent of the mid-1970s. All we need now is for Mr Camerclegg to ask Tony Woodley around for some beer & sandwiches.

  3. Mark
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I do hope it wasn't his Civil Servants' idea.

    "Two kinds of government chair correspond with the two kinds of minister: one sort folds up instantly and the other sort goes round and round in circles."

    Not what I expected of Mr. Hammond, but I suppose he is trying to find his bearings now he has been re-directed to Transport.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


    Keep out of disputes which have nothing to do with Government Departments, you are on a hiding to nothing, as you will eventually get drawn in by one side or another.

    While our Transport Minister is at it, perhaps he can remove all speed humps, speed cushions, and other road obstructions, so that traffic can flow at a constant fuel efficient speed once more.

    • simon
      Posted May 18, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Somebody ought to be able to come up with a strategy for speed control that encourages constant speed rather than the constant speed up and slow down of the measures you mention .

  5. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the Regulator of the skies again. Are NATS nuts? Put it another way: given that there have been NO recorded incidents of contaminated aero engines since the eruption of volcanic ash began, whose decision should it be to close airports and ground aircraft? Should it be the airlines, who carry the commercial risk and can be sued if they get it wrong? Or should it be a government organisation, which runs no commercial risk at all, and is interested only in its own reputation for 'elf and safety/?

    Carry on the theme. Should we regulate banks or let them crash and burn? Imagine LMcD in No 11 talking to Sir Freddie Goodwin, who has just held out his begging bowl. "Well, sir, sell off your 9 insurance companies and any other sellable assets, borrow from the markets, make a rights issue if you can find any buyers, make full disclosure of your toxic assets and get out of my office."

  6. Adam Collyer
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    The market will sort out BA quite nicely anyway, if the unions and management can't.

  7. rolex daytona
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    Not what I expected of Mr. Hammond, but I suppose he is trying to find his bearings now he has been re-directed to Transport.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page