|London, 26 Oct 2005.
For immediate release.
"It seems that Mr Darling is determined to press ahead with his Big Brother mobility tax no matter what. He realises what a potential vote-loser this is, and is now using private firms to front, develop and manage the scheme for him."The ABD's Chairman Brian Gregory comments
"This scheme has phenomenal implications for people's civil liberties. Private companies and the government will know exactly where they are every hour of the day and charge them for it. Of course, the in-car black boxes also open the door to instant speeding tickets and penalties for almost any other offence that can be dreamed up."The ABD believes that the introduction of this mobility tax is mistaken, but not simply because of the implications for civil liberties. Demand for travel is inelastic people need to travel for work, to commute, to see friends and families. This tax is based on the whole premise that people are able to change their travelling behaviour. Although there is potential for some commuters to switch to cycling and powered two wheelers for some trips, public transport is, in the government s own words unreliable, expensive and does not go where people want. The majority of travellers will simply have no choice but to pay up.
"We are extremely concerned about any tax that involves satellite and computer technology spying on citizens. When unelected and unaccountable private companies are involved, our concern grows still further. We urge Mr Darling to reconsider."