§ 59. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Transport what study he has made of the amount of the tax evasion which is taking place by vehicles being parked and driven on the roads without road fund licences; and what is the estimated loss to the Treasury from this form of tax evasion during the past 12 months.
§ Mr. Tom Fraser
Licensing authorities are fully aware of the importance of protecting the revenue, and in conjunction with the police take various steps to secure this. Every reported case of a vehicle not displaying a vehicle excise licence is investigated. In many cases it is found that a licence has in fact been taken out. In the remainder, the authorities either impose mitigated penalties and recover the unpaid duty, or prosecute the offender. I cannot estimate the extent of loss to the revenue because, if we knew of unlicensed use, revenue would be recovered in the way I have indicated. The level of reporting is such that it seems unlikely that evasion is at all widespread.