He was meant to get a role overseeing the Treasury but instead David Cameron gave him the Transport brief. Yet despite being a know-it-all when it comes to the Consolidated Fund (the national coffers to you and me) Philip ‘Hoverboard’ Hammond isn’t so hot on a key duty.
He ought to know that ‘road tax’ was abolished in 1937, but he clearly doesn’t. In the DfT’s Business Plan, launched earlier today, Hammond’s fingerprints are everywhere. The document majors on subsidies for electric cars (Hoverboard Hammond thinks they’ll cure congestion and that 8000 of them sold by 2013 will curb carbon, too). It also mentions Vehicle Excise Duty but makes the mistake – inexcusable in the Department that is in charge of these sort of things – of calling it ‘road tax’.
Why does this matter? Because cyclists are often verbally and physically abused by motorists claiming anybody who choses to ride a bike is a “tax dodger” and shouldn’t be there.