Clause 187 - Vehicles not kept or used on public road

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 18 Mehefin 2013.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 10:45, 18 Mehefin 2013

The clause is the first stage in the legislative process for making statutory off-road notification declarations across the UK indefinite, following the Government’s red-tape challenge, which took into consideration the public’s views on reducing road transport regulations, including the burden involved in making annual declarations of a vehicle’s continued storage away from the public road. Having listened to what the public said, the Government are now committed to removing the annual requirement, so that in future the declaration will be indefinite.

Some 2.4 million vehicle enthusiasts, such as classic car club members and motorcycle enthusiasts, keep their vehicles stored off-road for a long period. They will benefit from less bureaucracy. The move to an indefinite basis for the declaration also avoids the present unnecessary, inefficient engagement of tax enforcement processes set in motion when vehicle keepers forget to renew their annual declaration. It will contribute towards Government savings of some £3.6 million over the next 10 years. To support that policy intention, the clause removes from primary legislation defunct references to the annual basis of statutory off-road notification declarations, paving the way for changes to regulations to be presented to Parliament later this year to facilitate indefinite declarations.

The clause has been subject to targeted consultation with the police, in view of their road traffic enforcement role, and with the wider motor industry. In particular, the Government are liaising with the motor industry to ensure that this regulatory change has no unintended effects on vehicles that have come to the end of their working lives and need to be scrapped and issued with a certificate of destruction.

Let me deal with questions raised by the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne North. The regulations will be amended in December and, as I have mentioned, approximately £3.6 million will be saved over 10 years. Approximately 2 million people a year will be affected.

On fraud or potential fraud, we expect no impact on fraud or evasion of VED. The DVLA has a range of measures to tackle VED evasion, from reminder letters to penalties through to prosecutions and wheel clamping. Currently, we collect 99.3% of VED, which shows that the measures are effective.

The Government are also looking at how this change can be best publicised, to ensure that the vehicle owners affected can take advantage of it. The Government will cease to issue off-road declaration renewal requests and the registered keepers of stored vehicles will not be required to take any action.

The clause will ease regulatory burdens for vehicle owners and unlock efficiency savings for the Government, and I ask that it stand part of the Bill.