Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Armitage Shanks{P}
The Government appear to be considering a £35 surcharge on all fixed penalty offences, to fund a shortfall in the cash available to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Why a speeding motorist or overstaying parker should pay for a person who has his nose broken in a drunken melee is a bit hard to follow! The Government has a record of randomly introduced 'initiatives' and this, (if it is brought in) will not be one of the clever ones. What we need is an initiative to collect outstanding and unpaid fines which in some parts of the country are nearly 50% of those imposed. Many people's respect for the law is in decline and measures which surcharge those who can be caught to redress the losses from those who can't be or who aren't pursued for their debts will further lower people's perceptions of British justice.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Altea Ego
This is without doubt a trully outrageous initiative. I shall not get into politics here. The motoring organisations are on to this and will be raising hell. There is no way on earth that motorists should be taxed in this way. If you have a labour MP, write to him/her now.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - DavidHM
Ah, but it's for the victims of crime. And if you do nothing illegal you've nothing to fear, right?

People apparently like the idea of hypothecation for taxes, and the idea of compensating victims of crime. I can see why the idea has been floated, but there really is no link - plus of course this might be one of those ideas that gets leaked, then introduced in a much softened form, and instead of raising hell we then just shrug and say that it could have been worse.

Sorry that I can't be more motoring related but well, erm... I can't.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - wemyss
Just another stealth tax however you look at it...
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Altea Ego
Ah, but it's for the victims of crime. And if
you do nothing illegal you've nothing to fear, right?
People apparently like the idea of hypothecation for taxes, and the
idea of compensating victims of crime. I can see why
the idea has been floated, but there really is no link
- plus of course this might be one of those ideas
that gets leaked, then introduced in a much softened form, and
instead of raising hell we then just shrug and say that
it could have been worse.


Yes its a good idea, for fines where a criminal offence has been committed. This should however have no connection whatsoever with motoring fixed penalties.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - madf
Compensate victims of crime?

Hmm what an outrageous thought!

Why we let the perpetrators of crimes have free legal aid to sue their victims! To suggest they might have to compensate their victims is of course too much so let other people do it..

Rearrange the following words to form a sensible sentence:

Politicians

think
should
before
speaking .

But then what can we expect.. we voted them in so we can always vote them out again..



madf
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - cryhavock
Yes well, the problem is this, isn't it:

the people who commit crimes for which there are actual identifiable victims (e.g., burglary, robbery, arson) don't actually have any assets or (legal) income so it's impossible to make them pay any form of compensation. However, there are 1 million criminals (whose crime is to exceed an arbitrarily imposed speed limit) who at least have a car, so they have some assets against which to enforce fines.

Now I wouldn't mind if a surcharge on fines went to compensate people who had actually suffered from the specific crime being punished, but this... this is just another step in a tendency whereby:

(1) we can't catch the perpetrators of actual crimes
(2) people (read: voters) are complaining about the low crime resolution rate
(3) we can't afford to catch actual criminals
(4) let's turn our attention to "crimes" that are
(a) very easy to detect
(b) committed by middle-class people who can afford to pay and
(c) are the very people who complain in (2) above
(5) speeding and parking offences for example
(6) now not only do we raise the crime detection and prosecution rate but
(7) all the people who complain are criminals themselves, so they haven't got a leg to stand on!

Only some six months ago, this country's Solicitor-General (Harriet Harman) was caught doing 99 mph on the M4. She was driving her son back to university and got carried away whilst overtaking some lorries. Now, does anybody think she was consciously - or even negligently - endangering any other road users? Bearing in mind she is a Labour Cabinet member, would she even dream of taking any risks of this nature? Of course not, but she was doing 99 mph and is therefore a CRIMINAL - and this is what we have for a Solicitor-General?

Something is sickeningly wrong here...
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - TrevP
"The Government appear to be considering a £35 surcharge on all fixed penalty offences, to fund a shortfall in the cash available to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board."

Sounds good to me.

But then I don't think that fines for breaking the law are "taxes".
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - DavidHM
Fair enough Trev.

But think of it this way: surely fines are set at such a level that they provide a balance between deterrence, revenue for the community and not causing unnecessary hardship.

And then they go and add a flat £35 on top of levels that were presumably set with that in mind. That's a lot on top of a parking ticket.

And yes, as for making criminals compensate their victims directly - that's fine in theory but certainly as far as theft is concerned, and most criminal damage and assault I suspect, people who have assets don't need to commit crimes and those that would anyway tend not to have the work ethic, brains, or non-addictive personality to accumulate any.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - frostbite
Possibly most important of all:- What guarantee would we have that the monies collected would actually go towards the stated purpose?
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - cryhavock
Possibly most important of all:- What guarantee would we have
that the monies collected would actually go towards the stated purpose?


No guarantee at all.

But in any event, don't you think most victims of crime would prefer to see the criminal brought to justice, rather than being "compensated" with some token sum of money from the taxpayer? Of course, that would mean concentrating resources on catching criminals that actually damage society, rather than those that are easily caught...
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - TrevP
"surely fines are set at such a level that they provide a balance between deterrence, revenue for the community and not causing unnecessary hardship"

Maybe, or maybe some junior clerk thought of a figure?

I would like to think you are right, but however . . .
£35 fine surcharge - Thommo
According to the Telgraph:

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F...l

there is a serious proposal going round to add a £35 surcharge to all fines levied in respect of motoring offences to fund a £160 million crime victim compensation scheme, not victims of motor crime you understand, just general victims of crime.

At least with the revenue cameras they pretend that there is some basis for the new tax, however spurious, now they are not even pretending. Under New Labour those un-PC enough to use a car (except government ministers in publicly funded chauferred vehicles) are simply cash cows to be milked as required.
£35 fine surcharge - carlh
Apparently Blunkett got this idea from another country. I know it's hard for (Labour) politicians to think this way but surely it's the perpertrators of crime who should get hit in the wallet. The average person gets shafted for enough tax these day's, and tax it is, not a fine surcharge.

This country is rapidly going down the pan. We'll be giving compensation to the bloke that Tony Martin shot next!

£35 fine surcharge - hootie
I daren't even start on the Tony Martin reference, guess this isn't the place anyway.

There's another thread on this topic,somewhere below, which I've also read and the subject still baffles me - I can see the link between certain crimes and punishments (i.e. doing community service) but this is bizarre to my mind. The only reason I could logically see justified for surcharging fines is to punish late payment (or discount early payment would probably be more effective in actually collecting the revenue)

Mind you, that said, the day when politicians come up with something that strikes me as totally 'logical' seems further and further off these days. I think it's the way they try and justify it that strikes me as an insult to our intelligence.
£35 fine surcharge - HF
I find this idea outrageous.

Will not veer into politics except to say that my ideas and ideals are undergoing a radical overhaul at the moment. From what to what doesn't matter, in fact I'm that disillusioned that there isn't a 'to what'.

Perhaps we should set up an HJ political party. Perhaps one of our more tactful members could be the face of the party. (Sean, up for it mate? ;))) Oh and Sean, don't think I'm picking on you, I am not. It's just that I know (or hope I know) that you will take that in the spirit it is intended.

HF



£35 fine surcharge - Thommo
As to the perpetrators of crime having no assets/income, in my experience this is not true. The guy who sold me a clocked car lived in a much bigger house than I could ever afford and hired the best barrister to defend himself against a charge of clocking 60 cars and got a £2,000 fine. Who says crime does not pay.
£35 fine surcharge - Obsolete
This is being proposed by a man who does not drive i.e. Blunkett. I think we should introduce large on the spot fines for anyone who allows a dog to foul a pavement or the interior of a building.
£35 fine surcharge - madf
The man who proposes it is also the man who sets the law so persitent vriminals can be released early if they say sorry then forgets it and has an "enquiry" when a hi profile case gets off early:-(

My surname is walker: change the "l" to another consonant and you have my view of what these politicans are...
madf
£35 fine surcharge - Thommo
Also, don't forget that Gordon Brown does not have a driving licence and has never owned a car, there has always been someone to pay for a car and chaffeur for him.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - eMBe {P}
All this ranting and raving sounds just like what we heard when the Red Ken Congestion charge was mooted and implemented.

Now most people think it was a good idea that is working very well; so well that the revenue forecast has been slashed. The people who are most happy are those who pay the daily charge - because they are saving compensatingly more than enough on fuel & time that was previously wasted in traffic-jams! The people who are unhappy are the planners who were expecting the scheme to make money.

If you don't want to pay the £35 charge, simply don't speed or park illegally.

I would predict that if the £35 surcharge goes ahead, traffic offenses will miraculously drop to a level whereby there is a huge shortfall in the planned compensation fund! And all law-abiding motorists will cheer at the results (less speeding, less illegal parking, etc.). The people who will not cheer are those who will find that the scheme is raising far less than estimated!
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Thommo
Who are these 'most people' eMBe, always wanted to meet them. Do you mean the Labour party appartchiks speaking to the Bagdad Broadcasting Society?

'Most people' I speak to hate and detest the congestion charge because they are wage slaves like teachers who can not afford the charge but can not afford to be without a car either.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - eMBe {P}
Who are these 'most people' .... because they are wage slaves like teachers who can not afford the charge but can not afford to be without a car either.>>


They are the silent majority.
For the record, my politics are obvious from many of my previous posts, and the two organisations you mention do not come anywhere near them.

If the teacher friends of yours can add up, they would soon calculate that they are better off (financially as well as stress wise) driving in a much less congested London. just ask them to work out (if they can) how much less fuel they are using and how many less headache-pills they are taking.

By the way, in any case, if they can afford a car, they can afford the charge. On the other hand, those who can - DO, those who can't - TEACH, or MOAN. Any scheme that makes it better on the roads for me and my rich friends who can afford to drive, has my full suport regardless of whether it is a Tory or Red Ken idea.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Thommo
'Don't speed and don't pay the charge.'

'If you can afford a car you can afford the charge.'

Yawn....... talk to the hand.

Thought. How do you talk to a silent majority? Do they stop being silent whilst you talk to them and then become silent again? Some form of vulcan mind meld perhaps?
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - madf
All this from a Government (not a political ramp) who despite promises still allow criminals to sue their victims using taxpayers money (ours) to fund their legal bills. ! fair and logical of course!


Having said that I don't mind if the charges for speeding are trebled: it would reduce speeding and force the Government to build new motorways.. (the impact of cutting speeds from an average 75mph to 70 on motorways would lead to HUGE congestion (queuing theory)).

And I can imagine how clogged the courts would be if all those fined appealed.. or more likely did not pay - approx 50% of all court fines are unpaid.. sort that out Mr Blunkett and there's part of your funding.

Lots of well meaning people suggest new laws will improve things when current laws are not enforced... recipe of the muppets...

No wonder politicians are held in such high regard:-)





madf
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Armitage Shanks{P}
eMBe, as you are clever enough or well organised enough never to speed or park illegally I will pose you a hypothetical question. Just suppose that you have paid for an hour's parking and by pure bad luck get back late and find yourself ticketed clamped or whatever? Under the present rules this might cost you £40; under what is proposed it will cost you £40 + £35 to go into some bottomless pit of government policy, to make good the shortfall in money they should be providing from other sources ie general taxation. If you think that a £35 surcharge is a fair deal then why not 1% on VAT so that we can all suffer? I don't want money to be specifically taken from a few easy to catch wrongdoers and then diverted into one of our 'Dear Leader's' knee-jerk initiatives. Like the £250,000 a month we are paying to keep the Dome secure until 2006 etc etc etc!
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - eMBe {P}
AS: The last parking fine I paid was one Boxing-Day holiday, when I wrongly assumed that parking restrictions did not apply on that day. I have every sympathy with your political sentiments, but take a different view on "upping" fines for all kinds of offences, including motoring. I am all for zero-tolerance on many anti-social activities. I know it is wrong that generally it is the normally law-abiding citizen who persistently pays, and the persistent law-breaking criminal who does not normally pay.

Possible £35 surcharge on fines - HF
Around my way, the penalty for exceeding one's parking ticket time is a massive £60.

For reasons that I cannot fathom, twice in the last fortnight I have been distracted and returned late to my car. I have been *very* lucky. And I guess next time might be 3rd time lucky for the wheel clampers/traffic wardens etc.

It is my own fault. I have, in good faith, paid the pay and display charge for the time I thought I would be parking, and have then been distracted. I have never parked anywhere and not bothered buying a ticket. And the pump of my heart on realising that I might have one of those nice tickets on my windscreen could probably have powered London's power requirements for a week at least.

The fact that there might be an additional £35 on top of this possible £60 is outrageous to me. Forget the time for 5 minutes and pay £95? OK still my fault but even so...

I disagree totally with this scheme. And if I am not *very* careful I will start buying the Daily Mail soon. If it was applied to people who are blatantly defying the law then I don't think it would be quite such a bad thing. But to get involved browsing in the local library and overshoot my time by ten minutes - surely not?

I really hope my government doesn't let me down any further by bringing in this as law.

Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Armitage Shanks{P}
eMBe. I think we are more on the same wavelength than I first thought! Most of us would appreciate a 'zero-tolerance' approach to crime but it would have to be to ALL crime not just the easy to apprehend motorist/parker and we shall have to get the police to work on it. If you think that a £35 surcharge is OK for speeders and parkers why not for no tax. no insurance, shop lifting and ALL offences which attract a fine as a result of a court appearnce? In North Wales where the Chief Constable has it in for motorists the burglary clear-up rate is 6% - is that a good enough effort?
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - eMBe {P}
AS - I couldn't agree more. I restricted my comments to motoring as that is the purpose of this site. My views on other subjects do fet aired in "other" forums - not just on the internet. Rest assured, there are steps in the pipeline to improve matters (regardless of who is in the driving seat at no.10) although it will take much longer than I would wish.
Possible £35 surcharge on fines - Armitage Shanks{P}
eMBe. Thank you. I realise that I may have gone further down a political line than was appropriate in a motoring forum and I appreciate the points that you are making.
 

Value my car