The abolition of
every car and van in the UK needing to display a car tax disc has led to the
tripling of the number of untaxed cars and soaring prosecutions and fines for
drivers, according to the latest annual report of the DVLA, the Driver and
Vehicle Licensing Agency.
The scale of the problem led to a report from the new auditor
general, Gareth Davies, to be attached to its annual accounts this year after
the agency’s previous unblemished record in collecting car tax became tarnished.
Up to 2014 when the car tax disc was abolished the agency collected up to 99.6 per cent of revenue. Since then the figure has fallen to 98.2 per cent – which might seem small – but is equivalent to an additional 500,000 vehicles evading tax. It is happening because people are telling the DVLA their vehicle is stored off the road but are continuing to use it.
Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, is facing a fresh
fiasco over new ferry contracts to bring in goods if Britain leaves the EU on
The minister known as “Failing Grayling” has already cost
some £3.5 billion in lost revenue and overspending in his three ministerial
jobs since 2010.
A report from the Commons public accounts committee today reveals he just 21 days left to re-order contracts to bring in supplies if either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt sticks to the Oct 31 deadline – deal or no deal.
Benefit error and fraud has reached record levels at the
Department for Work and Pensions and it is going to get worse, according to its
own figures released in its annual report for the last financial year.
For the 30th year
running the National Audit Office has qualified the ministry’s £86.6 billion
benefit accounts because it considers them to be inaccurate
The most damning section of the report is on Universal Credit – whose current and previous directors – have just received bonus payments up to £15,000 each for their work.
Secret ministry documents reveal that successive government
ministers and Whitehall officials failed over two decades to tell over 3.8
million women born in the 1950s that they would lose their pensions for up to six
The documents – made public in last month’s judicial review – call into question whether the ministry was up to the job to properly inform millions of people of such a drastic change to their retirement plans.
For those who are not yet following me on Byline there is now a two part investigation by me into the cost – both financial and personally damaging – to British taxpayers of cabinet minister Chris Grayling. His nine years in office – from Employment Minister to Lord Chancellor and now Transport secretary – have brought misery to millions of people whether they are rail commuters, prisoners, victims of criminal attacks or faced discrimination at work. Some people have even had to plead guilty to criminal offences they did not commit to save money. Others have become victimised twice because of the debacle of his probation privatisation programme.You read the two part series in bylinehereand here.
The Department for Work and Pensions has produced statistics to frighten the public into believing that compensating 3.8 million women born in the 1950s who lost out through the rise in the pension age from 60 to 66 will cost more than double the real price.
A new DWP research report issued a day after judicial review hearing on June 5 and 6 and given widespread coverage in mainstream media put the cost at an eye watering £188 billion and £212 billion instead of a previous figure of £77.2 billion. The directly comparable figure hidden in a footnote is £91.1 billion at today’s prices.
Now I am back in the UK after going around the world and visiting 22 countries I am introducing some changes to my blog.
I have a number of major projects for the current year and a backlog of challenging investigations following a number of you contacting me on this site to ask me to write about issues which are not being reported or ignored in mainstream media.
I am currently employed as a consultant to a national newspaper and an independent television production company scoping a long term investigation which hopefully will appear later this year.
I will also be regularly writing for byline.com on their new project bylinetimes – a print and on line paper that specialises in reporting issues not covered by the mainstream press. This will mean that my coverage of Whitehall mismanagement and political scandals will first appear on their site but every article will be highlighted on this site so you can link to it and read it.
This site has run a number of articles on the plight of the 3.8 million women born in the 1950s who have been hit by the raising of the pension age from 60 to 66. I decided to back the campaign by BackTo60 after seeing the poverty, stress and misery caused to so many people by this mismanaged policy. Apart from the Guardian and the Press Association, this site and bylinetimes were the only people to cover a judicial review hearing which could affect the lives of 3.8 million people.
Coverage of this issue will be intensified over the next few weeks as I have a string of exclusive stories and analysis in the pipeline.
This site has also covered very challenging child sex abuse stories in the past and some very controversial investigations through Exaro News . I am still planning to cover issues raised in this area and will come back to it shortly.
The rest of the news agenda on this site will depend partly on you, the reader, when you ask me to either investigate something that has manifestly gone wrong or expose mismanagement and corruption wherever it might be. I have had a number of you contacting me about local government scandals, housing and business scandals, racism, mental health issues to name but a few. Please bear with me as it takes time to do a proper investigation.
Finally I have made one change. My figures from WordPress show though this a UK site some 10 per cent of the traffic is from overseas – notably Spain, France, the US, Canada, Australia, Cyprus and Turkey. It also has had sizable hits from the United Arab Emirates, Croatia, Mexico, Bulgaria and Thailand to name a few. Many of these could be migrants or expats but I have added a Google translate button so the blogs can be read in other languages.
In the meantime I am very gratified by the huge increase in the number of hits on this site – mainly as the result of my support for the 50s born women. The site is running at record levels, so thank you all.