New speed limits – tickets for all

I don’t know if you’ve heard … but the speed limits in the UK are about to change. The new limit on the motorway is being reduce to 65 mile per hour and anyone who has ever travelled at 70 mph in the past is going to get a retrospective ticket. They will be sent out in the post and it’s expected that nearly everyone will be asked to pay a fine.

Doesn’t seem fair does it.

I think we should complain about it. I mean we were following the rules when we drove at 70. How dare they change them on us afterwards and more to the point how dare they fine us for it.

Of course I just made that up. But that is what is effectively happening to MPs at the moment after Sir Thomas Legg wrote to many of them asking them to pay back money they had legitimately been allowed to claim previously.

I’m not trying to defend the most ridiculous claims and I think there should be a robust system for reviewing all claims and ensuring that they passed both the letter and the spirit of the previous rules, that people ‘flipping‘ for profit, or  have underclaimed on the tax they owe are caught and effectively punished – which in some cases could mean a criminal prosecution.

But I think changing the rules retrospectively like this is just not fair.

Instead it should be about changing the system to make it effective, fair and transparent. Let’s see what Sir Christopher Kelly has to say in his report due out in early November.

4 Responses to New speed limits – tickets for all

  1. Phillip says:

    Yes retrospective rule changes can be perceived as unfair, but don’t forget it is the same MPs that moved retirement age forward for many thousands of females, and are now proposing the same again age 66 for females by 2016, so I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy.

    Perhaps if we reduced the number of MPs and ensured that their pensions were available from age 65 the public would have a little more understanding ?

    • Patrick says:

      I think the idea of reducing the number of MPs has merit – although I wouldn’t want to see people effectively disenfranchised as the public would have even less contact with MPs if the constituencies were bigger.

      But it is definitely one of the changes that needs to be considered. As do a few other radical ideas. There’s still a lot that needs to be done to restore public confidence.

      • Sonny says:

        Retrospective prosecution is not fair. Arguably the MPs should have said some thing but hey they didn’t. Don’t vote them in next time. Let’s be concerned more now about the reform that’s going to take place. Rather than scrabbling over who claimed pennies here and pennies there let’s stop future MPs from streaking thousands in the future.

        Fewer or more MPs? That is a really serious question to be asked in consideration with the independent MPs ethos.

  2. Peter says:

    I believe that there have been previous instances where retrospective legislative instruments have been used, for instance in matters of taxation.

    http://forums.contractoruk.com/accounting-legal/40378-petition-against-retrospective-legislation.html

    Oddly fewer concerns from of legislators then.

    But you’re right, and two wrongs don’t make one.

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