28/09/2012

Private Speed Cameras Could Be Used To Detect Tax Dodgers

In an attempt to recover €100m worth of unpaid car tax the government may use private speed camera to detect tax dodging motorists.

The recovery plan was revealed in a report by the taxpayers' watchdog, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), which also details a litany of wasted money by government departments and state agencies.

The C&AG revealed in his annual report that €225m had been spent on planning projects that have now been mothballed.

They include €216m on Metro North, Metro West and the DART Underground and €10m on third-level projects.

The National Roads Authority also agreed to pay an additional €16m to a company working on the N6 Ballinasloe road after a dispute over completion of work.

It also expects to pay €6.7m a year to the companies that built the M3 and Limerick Tunnel because traffic volumes are lower than expected.

The annual "traffic guarantee payments" will be paid to the M3 contractor until 2025 and until 2041 in the case of the Limerick tunnel. Total payments could reach €142m.

In relation to the unpaid car tax, the Department of Transport is seeking legal advice on extending car tax checks to the privately operated GoSafe speed vans, the report reveals.

If approved, the vans will scan the number plates of motorists and check the registrations instantly against a national motor taxation database.

Owners of vehicles whose tax is either out of date or declared 'off-the-road' will be sent fines in the post by gardai, who control the cameras.

The idea is that this will put pressure on these drivers to pay their tax to avoid being caught again by the cameras.

(H)

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