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Road to ruin

Tories score cheap points over expensive tax

A 2008 tax disc

Some Post Offices are now offering a free gas-guzzler with every tax disk

The Tories have pulled a thinly-veiled PR coup by accusing Gordon Brown of misleading the House over new road tax proposals now it’s transpired that, under the new system, owning a car will be almost as expensive as fuelling one.

Brown told the Commons some months ago that the new plans would mean ‘the majority of motorists benefit or pay no more’, which is still true. The Tories, however, are doing a bang-up job of making the press ignore both that, and voluble Conservative support when the measures were originally proposed.

‘We need to know who is going to win and who is going to lose from these stealth taxes,’ explained Tory spokesman Francis Bargle, ‘Will it be the poor who can’t afford to replace their cars? Will it be country dwellers who need their 4x4s to get around? And will the most pissed off be voters in marginal constituencies?’

Asked for the Lib Dems’ policy on the issue, a spokesman told KTAB ‘People like cars.’

Predictable anger has erupted amongst the 9.2 million expected to be affected by the changes. ‘It was bad enough when I was going to be paying another eighty pounds on my second Bentley Continental GT,’ protested wealthy capitalist Roger Bighouse, ‘But now I hear that the new tax system is going to hammer the poor, as well. That’s just plain unacceptable. I employ large numbers of the poor and if they have to fork out an extra twenty quid to drive to the factory, they’re going to start demanding more than the minimum wage!’

‘The worst hit will be those who hang onto their 4×4 gas guzzler, not because they need it to negotiate obstacles on the off-road school run, but because they want to be a whinging martyr,’ explained environmentalist Claire Timkins, ‘With the rising cost of petrol as well, a lot of people consider it worth the premium so they have some moaning with which to pepper their otherwise tedious conversations.’

Green groups are concerned that even this minor road tax re-jig is enough to whip the electorate into a government-decapitating storm, if only they could afford to drive to the polling stations.

 

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