MPs today condemned the Department for Transport and the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency for misrepresenting motorcyclists as road tax dodgers.
The Motorcycle Action Group welcomes the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts’ special report on motorcycle Vehicle Excise Duty evasion. Claims by the DfT and DVLA that the rate of motorcycle VED evasion was as high as 38% prompted politicians and the media to brand motorcyclists as law breakers, some reports proclaimed that half of all motorcyclists were criminals.
MAG, working with other motorcycle interest groups, challenged the figures as obviously incorrect. This was subsequently proved to be the case earlier this year when DfT admitted that the actual level of VED evasion was less than10%.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Edward Leigh MP, said it was one of the most serious issues the committee has had to deal with. Mr Leigh issued an unreserved apology to motorcyclists after hearing HM treasury admit incompetence and the DfT express regret at the embarrassment caused during the committees’ recent special enquiry.
MAG Campaigns Manager, David Short, said “MAG applauds the vigilance of members of the Public Accounts Committee in helping to correct this misrepresentation of Britain’s million-plus motorcycle users. It is now clear that the vast majority of motorcyclists are ordinary law abiding citizens who should not have had to put up with being branded criminals.
MAG challenged the basis of official estimates which resulted in the second, special enquiry. Official figures often give a distorted view of motorcycle users and this results in riders getting a poor deal. MAG will keep fighting to make sure motorcycle users are no longer misrepresented”.
Notes to editors. David Short can be contacted on 07738 948080
Public Accounts Committee. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel no. 020 7219 1589 (Media enquiries)