Havering’s Car Parking Charges: A Stealth Tax

Havering’s car parking charges controversy concluded at the Council meeting, 22nd January 2020. The 30 minute grace period was irrevocably cancelled. Additionally a root-and-branch review was initiated by Osman Dervish in ‘Living In Havering’, February 2020. The principal question remains however: what is a legitimate use of profits from car parking? This contested issue can only be satisfactorily dealt with by hypothecation.*

The government restrict the use of on-street car parking profits. They state there are three legitimate uses of profits, (1) supporting public transport, (2) highway improvement projects and (3) environmental improvements.** Councils must budget separately when using car parking profits.

Damian White said: “It’s of course never popular to take tough decisions like raising car parking charges but when our residents told us they want our roads, pavements and pools – this was the only way we can fund it.”***

Damian is implementing his party’s ‘Austerity’ programme by using stealth taxes. These are necessary to survive.+ Another tactic was imposing despicable increases in council tax for the disabled and the vulnerable in 2019.

Damian’s car parking charges are a stealth tax as part of his implementation of the government’s Austerity programme. Motorists will see where the profits from the car parking charges are actually spent once the forthcoming budget has to identify the money as a separate item.

* ‘Living in Havering’ p7; hypothecation is an income stream dedicated to a specific programme.
** https://onthewight.com/council-gives-view-legal-use-car-parking-income/
*** https://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/councillors-vote-against-free-parking-in-havering-1-6479735 Spending money on ‘pools’ is illegal.
+ https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmtran/writev/parking/m42.htm
See also https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jul/22/residents-high-court-barnet-council-parking-permit?fbclid=IwAR32BnLrTegPHXiUjDz5QajF-16HDn7vTTZTVqCC8GmskUdwYyuFj3J-NUI
And https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/28/councils-make-record-1-billion-parking-charges/
Eric Pickles gave government guidance in 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eric-pickles-calls-for-more-town-centre-parking-spaces

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