Millions of motorists who use motorways and trunk roads could pay an annual charge of up to £150 under controversial reforms being considered by ministers.
A range of radical options is being considered to reform vehicle excise duty, which raises £6 billion a year.
A flat-rate levy on drivers who use the biggest roads has been ruled out, according to Government sources, but officials are examining more sophisticated ‘access charges’ which would vary according to the CO2 emissions or even the weight of a vehicle.
Is it me or has every little piece of verbal diarrhoea every proposed by the coalition been abandoned, rejected or u-turned?
They seem to have come out with so many ideas, ranging from the plausible to the downright idiotic, only to go back on every bloody one of them.
Here's another good example of waffle that will never make it into legislation.
The last Budget paved the way for changes, saying that reform of road tax must ensure that ‘all motorists continue to make a contribution to the sustainability of the public finances, and reflect continuing improvements in vehicle efficiency.’
One option drawn up by officials for ministers would see vehicle excise duty split into two tiers. All motorists would pay a new, lower level of the tax, allowing them to drive on local roads and smaller A-roads.
Those who want to use the country’s trunk-road network - consisting of all motorways and major A-roads - would pay a second annual charge. Automatic numberplate recognition cameras would be used to catch any drivers who were trying to use main roads but not pay.
Why can they not just scrap vehicle excise duty altogether and stick with fuel tax? You pay by the mile and fine, if you must penalise people on emissions, bigger engine cars use more fuel so their drivers will pay more tax.
Is this just too simple an option for politicians?
And I'm not suggesting they increase fuel tax to offset the loss of road tax, I'm suggesting they leave it the same and stop wasting so much of it.
And here's another one.
This time it another colossal over reaction.
Pensioner, 74, forced to wear headphones after neighbours complained about her TV being too loud when her hearing aid broke
Now I hate council jobsworths with a passion, and this story definitely has it's share of unfeeling, inflexible jobsworths.
The thing is, I also hate Joe Publics who turn a small problem with an easy solution into the end of days, just because they may have to make a tiny, temporary sacrifice.
A 74-year-old widow claims council killjoys have threatened her with eviction - after turning up the volume on her favourite TV programmes when her hearing aid broke.
Annie Hancock, from Aston, Birmingham, was left horrified when council noise officers told her they'd received complaints she had been watching her favourite programme - TV comedy Mrs Brown's Boys - too loudly.
And now Mrs Hancock's family says she has been told to wear headphones whenever she settles down in front of the telly - or face losing her home.
Jobsworths can be shits at times. If this is true, threatening the possibility of eviction is totally out of order, however, the suggestion she wears headphones is a practical one.
Her hearing aid has broken and she has to wait four weeks for another one. She can either put up with the inconvenience of wearing headphones rather than turn the telly up to silly volume, or she can pass her inconvenience on to someone else who has nothing to do with this sorry situation, her neighbours.
Her furious family said she has been left too scared to even laugh loudly in her home.
Granddaughter Suzi Lloyd said: 'It is just ridiculous. My nan is petrified she's going to lose her home.
'We spent £35 on headphones after being advised to take the step by the council's anti-social team.'
I own a pair of quality headphones that cost less than a tenner, and two pairs of budget ones that cost a couple of quid each. If your headphones cost £35 it's because you chose to spend £35.
Also, if this woman really is scared to laugh out loud (doubtful) would it not be better to sit her down and explain to her that this is not the case, rather than going crying to the papers?
'We have done everything the council has asked. She is now scared and constantly ill, yet all she has done is turn up the telly.
'The television is her only comfort and it is on all the time, so she's got the earphones on 24/7.
'She shouldn't have to live like this. It is tearing her and me apart. She is walking on eggshells. She rang me one night and said: "I just laughed loudly - do you think that will be OK?"
'That's how frightened she is.'
This situation could have been handled a lot better by the jobsworths involved, however it could also have been handle better and a lot less childishly by the protagonists themselves.
And here's another one.
MORE than £31 million invested by councils in tobacco companies could be withdrawn as the authorities prepare to take on responsibility for improving public health.
Another pile of anti smoking bollocks, that is.
Staffordshire Pension Fund has millions invested in firms including British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco.
The Sentinel has learned the fund, which covers staff at all of the region's councils, also invests in Carlsberg and Greene King brewers, and the firm which owns McDonald's restaurant buildings.
I wonder if they also invest in the arms manufacturers who made the assault weapon that was used in the Sandy Hook shootings? Well come on, I mean, is that not just a list of people the anti capitalists hate? I thought pension funds were about wise investment, not about only picking companies who make low carbon knitting needles for the third world.
Charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) accused the councils of tying up more money in tobacco than the amount it will have available to campaign for people to quit.
That's funny, because the money they have invested in tobacco firms will be slowly increasing is size while the money they invest in forcing people to quit may as well be pissed up a wall.
Councillors who sit on the panel in charge of scrutinising the investments say withdrawing from tobacco firms would prove complicated – because they have a responsibility to get the best return for members in the same way company directors have to maximise profits for shareholders.
Martin Dockrell, of ASH, dismissed the arguments on duty to pension members.
He said: "At best it's a gross simplification of the truth. It is a duty to act in the best interests of pension holders and taxpayers but that doesn't mean there is an obligation to invest in tobacco.
Spot the expert there, and spot the anti-smoking dick
The expert says they have a responsibility to make sure the money they invest goes as far as possible. The anti-smoking dick says otherwise. I know who I would prefer to trust my money with.
They don't have a obligation to invest in tobacco. They choose to invest in tobacco because that is the best way to fulfil their obligation to get the best return on that investment.
But what the fuck do health Nazis know about finance?
Every day there's another one. It's all getting a bit predictable.