Sadiq's looming poll tax moment
In message , at 14:29:11 on Sun, 16 Dec
2018, tim... remarked:
the phone and postal services for the Dart Charge seem quaint and
indulgent compared with the toll roads in eg Sydney where it's
electronic or else - including for visitors in hire cars.
The postal service is only for pre-pay, and needs 10days notice.
I'd characterise it more as applying for a season ticket by post
(even if it's only a one-trip season being paid for).
I wonder if it's mainly for institutional vehicles, where
arrangements for reimbursing drivers small amounts of money are
either non-existent or very clumsy, and they don't want to have
a system for drivers to report each trip as it happens, and the
finance department pay the charge from central funds rapidly enough.
surely if the institutional vehicle belongs to the institution,
they can set up an online account that does all this
Many institutions are leery of online accounts, many of which
appear to them to be akin to blank cheques. I'd be surprised if a
school (even one in Essex or Kent) was happy to set up an online
account for even the Head's car, should he have some official
business the other side of the river. How would that account not
end up also paying for his leisure trips, for example? The postal
payment, however, could be ringfenced for just one trip.
you haven't thought that through, have you
If the head is already making significant leisure journeys through
the tunnel, he is going to want to set up his own account for these
Can you set up two accounts for the same car? Which does the charge
get levied against when the car passes through.
I have no idea what happens if you try this
And I have no intention of finding out.
I'm getting bored trying to do "what if" on the Dart website too.
so the journey that he does make for the institution is going to go
through that account anyway
telling the head that he may not set up an automated account to pay
his weekly tunnel toll, because once a year he makes a journey for
institutional purposes isn't going go down too well
What also doesn't go down well is the head (or especially more junior
members of staff) being told that they'll have to pay the toll
personally because there's no such thing as a petty cash account.
so how are they going to get back the 25 miles at 40ppm then?
surely whatever solution is used for that can be used for the toll.
Mileage can be a problem too, because it requires checking the person
took the 'best' route and so on. Some organisations only pay the
crow-flies mileage as a result. But the bigger issue is that other than
pure mileage, we are into 'disbursements' territory. They require
receipts, and for the employee to advance the employer actual monetary
credit. Both of which can be an issue.
Meanwhile, it's unusual for people to demand to be paid their mileage by
midnight the following day. I also doubt if the online payment scheme
has any ability to arbitrate dual-signatures.
BTW the automatic online accounts are pre-pay. There is no
connection to the post pay option
The postal option is pre-pay too.
but as I understand you, only for a specific journey.
The form doesn't have somewhere to nominate a travel day.
the pre pay account is just a store of money for any future journey
The postal option is a way to 'top up' a type of pre-pay account.
(and FWIW you can have an account containing more than one reg)
The underlying issue is that many Public Sector and most Third Sector
organisations have rules that expenditure requires 'two signatures';
and it's compulsory under the rules dictated by most grant funders.
so you get two people to sign up for the 10 pound transfer to the
On a cheque. While it's possible to set up dual-signature BACS transfers
online, it's a bit of a pain. When I was involved in this I found that
'second signatories' were much more responsive to countersigning a
cheque and dropping it in the prepaid return envelope, than jumping
through all the hoops of a dual-auth online banking account.