HC Deb 11 February 1982 vol 17 c1107
16. Mr. Edwin Wainwright

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated total of all forms of road taxation in each of the past four years.

Mr. Ridley

The amounts were £4,209 million in 1977, £4,620 million in 1978, £5,597 million in 1979 and £6,982 million in 1980. These figures and their components are published in "Transport Statistics Great Britain 1970–80". The information for 1981 is not yet available.

Mr. Wainwright

Does the Minister not realise that only about 28 per cent. of those amounts is spent on the roads? Does he not think that there should be greater expenditure when one considers the bad condition of our roads and the demand for bypasses to carry heavy vehicles? Does he not think that it is essential to get the unemployed back to work?

Mr. Ridley

The figure of the proportion spent on roads given by the hon. Gentleman is approximately correct. Since the road fund ceased to be hypothecated to the construction of roads, the practice is not to equate revenue with expenditure in any particular sector. If that principle were to be carried very far, some strange consequences would arise.