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Ever wondered why you pay for parking? Here’s an incredible but true answer!

March 24, 2010

Last month, we published a post titled “why should cars pay for on-street parking?”, where we explained that because no one had ever been able to give us a proper, meaningful and reasonable answer to the basic question of why cars should pay for on-street parking, motorcycles shouldn’t be subject to parking charges either. We already pay all sorts of taxes, including road and council tax,  so why should drivers be charged more money when they park their vehicle on-street? Why can’t local authorities use some of the funds they already collect from taxpayers for parking purposes? When you dispose of your newspaper in a public recycling bin, do you have to pay a fee for doing so? Of course not, the cost of collecting the bin and so on is in most cases funded from the local council tax. So why do motorists have to pay to leave their car behind while they go shopping whereas they don’t have to pay when they dispose of a newspaper they have just finished reading on the bus?

If there is no valid reason as to why cars should pay for parking, then why should motorcycles, like it is the case in London, England?

Well, no one has been able to properly answer the question until one of our readers based in Australia sent us an email a couple of days ago which revealed some bad truth. With our reader’s permission, we have published the contents of their email:-

In your article “Why should cars pay for on-street parking”, the statement was made:

“No one has ever managed to give us a proper, meaningful and reasonable answer to the basic question of why cars should pay for parking. As we understand it, parking charges for cars were initially introduced to finance the cost of building car parks, and such charges were only a temporary measure until the funds required to build those car parks were fully collected. And some fifty years later, car parking charges are still in place, but obviously not as a temporary measure. If there is no valid and fundamental reason why cars should pay for on-street parking these days, then why should motorcycles?”

In Australia, speeding fines, parking charges and other revenue raising measures are considered revenue in the deliberations of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, which is the federal government body that is tasked with divvying-up the Goods and Services Tax and other federal grants to the states and territories.

This is a quote from an opening paragraph from one of their reports:

“The Law and Order Fees and Fines category comprised the net collections from fines and forfeitures, and from fees and charges collected by the courts, including those which were primarily revenue‑raising rather than cost‑recovery measures. It included traffic fines imposed by the police but excluded other licence fees collected by the courts which were classified to the Other Taxes category.”

Note the words “primarily revenue‑raising”.

The Commonwealth Grants Commission calculates revenue from parking charges and fines for each jurisdiction, then calculates the average for each jurisdiction and the average for all jurisdictions.

Those jurisdictions that are below average on parking charges and fines revenue lose the money from their Commonwealth Grants. The expectation is that those states and territories are then encouraged to increase revenue from parking or elsewhere.

As our systems are for all intensive purposes the same, this is the answer to your question of why these parking charges and fines are raised in the first instance.

It is false economy when the cost of enforcement meets or exceeds the revenue generated, but you’ve seen the motivation.

So what our reader is actually saying is that in order to make sure local authorities keep receiving grants from the Commonwealth Commission, they need to raise as much revenue as they possibly can.  This revenue include parking charges and fines. The more revenue these authorities raise from parking, the more chance they have to keep their grants from the Commonwealth Commission, otherwise if they don’t raise enough revenue, they simply lose the grants.

So there you have it, parking in this instance is all about revenue-raising, nothing else. We are simply being treated like cash cows!


Further reading:-

Australian Government – Commonwealth Grants Commission


Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez


If you have a story you would like to see published on UK France, please contact us here.

Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur UK France, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

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