§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that in England and Wales there were 6,374 convictions in 1968, and 76,667 in 1969 for keeping unlicensed vehicles, that the average penalty was less than the licence £7 11s. 6d., respectively, that the revenue 301W lost some £5 million per annum and the average penalty was less than the licence fee; and whether he will seek to make the penalty a fixed fine equal to the licence fee.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
No conclusion about the amount of money lost to the revenue can be drawn from the figures quoted. The maximum penalty at present may be five times the annual rate of duty plus the amount of back duty.
It is for the courts to decide the penalty in any particular case having regard to the facts before them and the circumstances.
A fixed penalty would be inappropriate to every case.