Triple Tax Whammy Could Trigger Summer of Discontent
New Labour's war on drivers is set to escalate with an announcement in Parliament tomorrow by Ruth Kelly 1
on the introduction of a congestion charge in Manchester.
A parallel announcement will take place at 3.30 at Rochdale Town Hall.
The imminent announcement of the Manchester congestion charge follows massive fuel tax protests in Manchester last week and a growing parliamentary rebellion on retrospective road tax hikes that could see the cost of driving to work spiral by the equivalent of a 10p increase in income tax 2
The government have ruled out a referendum across Greater Manchester for fear that democracy might defeat their plans. They have also announced that plans to expand the scheme into the other towns in the region have been 'cancelled'. This is after 12 months of denying that those plans existed and calling MART 3
scaremongers for talking about it.
Sean Corker, ABD Local Co-ordinator for Manchester, and MART spokesman, said:
“The government deliberately cancelled funding for the Metrolink extension, so that they could use the need for this as an excuse for imposing congestion charging upon the city. It is an absurdity that the cost of setting up the congestion charge would pay for the final stages of the Metrolink.”
“It is well known that the government has gained a massive windfall tax from higher oil prices. This money could pay for the Metrolink expansion several times over. To continue with the congestion charge plans at this time is nothing but greed.”
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“It is beyond belief that Gordon Brown, already under massive pressure over the cost of fuel tax and unjustified extortionate increases in VED, should choose to make this announcement at this time. It seems he does not wish to be Prime Minister much longer, and we have no doubt that the voters of Britain will be pleased to assist him in that desire.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1 Ruth Kelly is Secretary of State for Transport, and is currently Member of Parliament for Bolton West. MART have vowed to unseat her if the congestion charge plans go ahead.
2 ABD Press release 624 http://www.abd.org.uk/pr/624.htm
3 Manchester Against Road Tolls is a joint operation between the Association of British Drivers and the National Alliance Against Tolls.
Notes for Editors about the ABD