11/06/2003

Government targets car tax evaders

Motorists throughout Northern Ireland who do not license their vehicles will be targeted in a new campaign to recover millions of pounds lost each year in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) evasion.

NIO Minister, Angela Smith, today announced the launch of a joint campaign with DOE’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI) and the PSNI in a clampdown against road tax dodgers and motorists committing other offences.

Angela Smith said: "Northern Ireland loses £13 million in revenue every year due to car tax cheats. Honest motorists are fed up with the small hard core who continually evade paying their road tax and meeting their other obligations.

"It is not fair on the honest motorist that they should subsidise evaders. We are determined to target this irresponsible group of motorists by bringing in additional DVLNI wheel clamping and Stingray camera units from 23 June. They will be used to target only those who evade paying their road tax. Law abiding motorists have nothing to fear."

The campaign was launched this morning at the Odyssey Complex, Belfast.

It follows a roadside survey of unlicensed vehicles in Northern Ireland conducted in June 2002 revealed that VED evasion was equivalent to 10% of the revenue that should be raised. This equates to a loss of revenue of around £13 million.

The enforcement action of the police and DVLNI against road tax dodgers also makes a significant contribution to road safety.

About a third of motorists reported for evasion of VED are committing other offences – including no MoT certificate, no insurance and defective tyres.

(MB)

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