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DoI not fit for purpose


joebean
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5 hours ago, Non-Believer said:

Going on the figures that Stu Peters posted earlier in the thread of a VED and Fuel Tax take of @ £130M over three years and a roads spend of @ £30M in the same period, it looks like the Manx motorist is paying for no small part of it already.

Just a reminder that those figures need to be taken with a lot of scepticism, not just because some were clearly wrong, but because the fuel duty  includes non-road fuel etc.

In addition, the road expenditure doesn't include most capital spending - you may feel hard of paying for the Prom fiasco, but you can't deny it's a road.  I suspect there's also no allowance for associated admin/oversight costs, either of collection or spending.

One of the constant themes in Manx government is that the sort of financial information and systems that would be thought essential in a small company or even a charity or society, seem not just ignored, but incomprehensible in the civil service. 

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39 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Just a reminder that those figures need to be taken with a lot of scepticism, not just because some were clearly wrong, but because the fuel duty  includes non-road fuel etc.

In addition, the road expenditure doesn't include most capital spending - you may feel hard of paying for the Prom fiasco, but you can't deny it's a road.  I suspect there's also no allowance for associated admin/oversight costs, either of collection or spending.

One of the constant themes in Manx government is that the sort of financial information and systems that would be thought essential in a small company or even a charity or society, seem not just ignored, but incomprehensible in the civil service. 

Far be it from me to question you RM, but IIRC the figures were£40m VED take, then £14m spend over the same three years for routine roads maintenance and the same again (and I agree it was possibly a mistake) for capital schemes which included some surfacing work. You're right that the fuel duty will have involved non-road fuel, but the Minister wasn't able to give me the VAT generated by road fuel sales either. So whichever way you slice it, the motorist is getting a diabolcally poor return.

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20 minutes ago, Stu Peters said:

Far be it from me to question you RM, but IIRC the figures were£40m VED take, then £14m spend over the same three years for routine roads maintenance and the same again (and I agree it was possibly a mistake) for capital schemes which included some surfacing work. You're right that the fuel duty will have involved non-road fuel, but the Minister wasn't able to give me the VAT generated by road fuel sales either. So whichever way you slice it, the motorist is getting a diabolcally poor return.

I can see why you would have thought that, but on closer examination the capital spend looks like was more than that:

In addition to the above there is an expenditure on road-related capital improvement schemes each year that are available in the Pink Book. Of this, the following capital money has been spent on overlaying, surface dressing, and micro-asphalting the road which can be classified as maintenance as well, although they are being funded through capital investment. For those three years as well, the total for those is £14,148,600.

So that's only part of the capital budget that can be pinned down to specific uses.  You need to look at the Pink Book for the rest and then try to work out what they have included and that they haven't .  Which ain't easy.

(Incidentally the VAT isn't that easy to work out because a lot will be reclaimed by commercial organisations etc).

Of course why motorists should expect a 'return' on their taxes is another issue - we don't expect it with other types of taxation.  No one is demanding that all alcohol duties and so on should be put into services for the drinking community.  

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6 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Of course why motorists should expect a 'return' on their taxes is another issue

I agree, however, I would like them to do rather less on coloured crossings , paved sleeping policemen and other functional, but enhanced in a decorative manner projects, and fill in the fecking holes which knock seven bells out of your suspension !

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8 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

I can see why you would have thought that, but on closer examination the capital spend looks like was more than that:

In addition to the above there is an expenditure on road-related capital improvement schemes each year that are available in the Pink Book. Of this, the following capital money has been spent on overlaying, surface dressing, and micro-asphalting the road which can be classified as maintenance as well, although they are being funded through capital investment. For those three years as well, the total for those is £14,148,600.

So that's only part of the capital budget that can be pinned down to specific uses.  You need to look at the Pink Book for the rest and then try to work out what they have included and that they haven't .  Which ain't easy.

(Incidentally the VAT isn't that easy to work out because a lot will be reclaimed by commercial organisations etc).

Of course why motorists should expect a 'return' on their taxes is another issue - we don't expect it with other types of taxation.  No one is demanding that all alcohol duties and so on should be put into services for the drinking community.  

I'm pretty sure the detailed data is there. Most probably the Cyril responsible for answering the question wouldn't have bothered to look beyond the headline numbers because detail is not important in their eyes.

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8 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Of course why motorists should expect a 'return' on their taxes is another issue - we don't expect it with other types of taxation.  No one is demanding that all alcohol duties and so on should be put into services for the drinking community.  

Government don't run pubs though... so that's just a bit of a non-sensical analogy. 

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9 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:
17 minutes ago, James Blonde said:

Government don't run pubs though... so that's just a bit of a non-sensical analogy. 

Of course why motorists should expect a 'return' on their taxes is another issue - we don't expect it with other types of taxation.  No one is demanding that all alcohol duties and so on should be put into services for the drinking community.  

Is it really a nonsensical analogy?

The government runs the police, the courts, and the health and social services - who are the ones who get to mop up after the drinking community. 

 

Apologies for the screwed up formatting.

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11 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Of course why motorists should expect a 'return' on their taxes is another issue - we don't expect it with other types of taxation.  No one is demanding that all alcohol duties and so on should be put into services for the drinking community.  

I think it would be a bit unreasonable to expect "all" of the revenue raised to go back into roads, but to me it's the scale of the revenue that's being raised that's staggering. For the privilege of owning and running a motor vehicle(s) on the Island's roads, all 500 miles of them, and as Stu has posted it doesn't even include the VAT component.

Bearing in mind this is on top of direct taxation and other Govt fees and charges, is it any wonder that people are feeling the pinch and have shrinking disposable income to spend in the local economy? Or businesses less money to invest, when the Govt is sucking £130M out of vehicle users alone?

And can we please now dispose of this "fuel tax is to save the environment" bollocks. Nobody has reduced their fuel purchases because of extra duties because the fuel is essential to life. It's a revenue raiser pure and simple, doubtless to pay salaries and pensions to rising numbers of "Blue Carbon Officers", Stickleback Counters and other jobs for mates and empires amongst others.

Keep digging please Stu, this needs publicising more widely, it's time people knew.

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2 hours ago, James Blonde said:

Government don't run pubs though... so that's just a bit of a non-sensical analogy. 

Not really - they don't run petrol stations or car dealerships either.

It's very odd this insistence (and it's by no means new) that some motorists have that 'their' taxes should be totally used for their related interests.  No other group of consumers demands that the tax revenue from their spending should be hypothecated to be spent on things that they want.  And as Zarley points out those things are usually defined rather narrowly while the revenue is taken very inclusively.

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3 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

I'm pretty sure the detailed data is there. Most probably the Cyril responsible for answering the question wouldn't have bothered to look beyond the headline numbers because detail is not important in their eyes.

I'm sure there is data there to derive these this figures from, but I doubt if they are ever worked out.  The lack of what you might call normal management accounting is very noticeable in the Government - very occasionally an outsider comes in (as with that report on the Airport a few years back) and is horrified by the lack of allocation and assessment of internal costs.  It's not that the figures are hidden they're not even being done.

Now of course such things are as much an art as a science and always changing, and genuine accuracy is hard to achieve and must always be treated cautiously.  But the most inaccurate thing is to not do them at all.

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20 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Not really - they don't run petrol stations or car dealerships either.

It's very odd this insistence (and it's by no means new) that some motorists have that 'their' taxes should be totally used for their related interests.  No other group of consumers demands that the tax revenue from their spending should be hypothecated to be spent on things that they want.  And as Zarley points out those things are usually defined rather narrowly while the revenue is taken very inclusively.

You're right, and given the financial pressures on things like healthcare I'm not suggesting that. The reason I mentioned it though is that in an Economics lesson at school in Manchester in the 60s we were told that Road Fund Licence revenue HAD to be spent on roads maintenance. I appreciate the IOM might never have adopted that, or dropped it in the rebranding as VED. And as stated earlier two Transport/Infrastructure Ministers told me on Mandate (2003-2008) that ALL VED was spent on roads 'and more', and that has clearly changed.

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4 minutes ago, Stu Peters said:

You're right, and given the financial pressures on things like healthcare I'm not suggesting that. The reason I mentioned it though is that in an Economics lesson at school in Manchester in the 60s we were told that Road Fund Licence revenue HAD to be spent on roads maintenance. I appreciate the IOM might never have adopted that, or dropped it in the rebranding as VED. And as stated earlier two Transport/Infrastructure Ministers told me on Mandate (2003-2008) that ALL VED was spent on roads 'and more', and that has clearly changed.

It would be very interesting to know how much is spent on actual maintenance ie staff on the ground filling potholes/patching existing roads and doing a permanent fix? how much does the Road marking team cost annually as they are clearly losing a fighting battle trying to keep up with the current backlog (which I had mentioned over 3 months ago) there does not seem to be any rush in completing outstanding work of all descriptions associated with Highway maintenance. DOI management must have blinkers on everytime they leave the Sea terminal as they are not reporting any defects and if they are, they clearly are not acted upon. DOI not fit for purpose is being very generous. I would be a lot less courteous and say the DOI is a complete shambles and should be brought to book with immediate effect. I would have all management around the table and find out who is not doing what they are getting paid for. Come on TC start earning your keep and get this show back on the road.  "pardon the pun"

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2 hours ago, Stu Peters said:

The reason I mentioned it though is that in an Economics lesson at school in Manchester in the 60s we were told that Road Fund Licence revenue HAD to be spent on roads maintenance. I appreciate the IOM might never have adopted that, or dropped it in the rebranding as VED. And as stated earlier two Transport/Infrastructure Ministers told me on Mandate (2003-2008) that ALL VED was spent on roads 'and more', and that has clearly changed.

This is why it is not always as good an idea as it first appears to educate schoolchildren in 'life skills'. The Laws of Thermodynamics or the date of the Battle of Hastings may not change, but 'practical' stuff can become useless or actively misleading in a very short time or even be taught wrongly in the first place.

According to Mr Wiki:

The accumulated Road Fund was never fully spent on roads (most of it was spent on resurfacing, not the building of new roads), and became notorious for being used for other government purposes, a practice introduced by Winston Churchill when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. [...] Hypothecation came to an end in 1937 under the 1936 Finance Act, and the proceeds of the vehicle road taxes were paid directly into the Exchequer. The Road Fund itself, then funded by government grants, was not abolished until 1955

So it wasn't true even when you were taught it (did you mean the 1860s?) and hadn't been since 1937.

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31 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

This is why it is not always as good an idea as it first appears to educate schoolchildren in 'life skills'. The Laws of Thermodynamics or the date of the Battle of Hastings may not change, but 'practical' stuff can become useless or actively misleading in a very short time or even be taught wrongly in the first place.

According to Mr Wiki:

The accumulated Road Fund was never fully spent on roads (most of it was spent on resurfacing, not the building of new roads), and became notorious for being used for other government purposes, a practice introduced by Winston Churchill when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. [...] Hypothecation came to an end in 1937 under the 1936 Finance Act, and the proceeds of the vehicle road taxes were paid directly into the Exchequer. The Road Fund itself, then funded by government grants, was not abolished until 1955

So it wasn't true even when you were taught it (did you mean the 1860s?) and hadn't been since 1937.

None of this excuses why a lot of roads are in a bad state of repair (TT course excepted) !

It seems pissing about with decorative tiles and paviors is far more desirable than fixing holes in the highway !

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3 minutes ago, asitis said:

None of this excuses why a lot of roads are in a bad state of repair (TT course excepted) !

It seems pissing about with decorative tiles and paviors is far more desirable than fixing holes in the highway !

Well  quite!  But I'm not convinced the solution is to give the DoI loads more money in the hope that they will suddenly start to spend it responsibly.

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