Attempts by the government to reduce the rising cost of living are looking increasingly poor.

For example, the suggestion to relax the frequency of MOTs to every two years has been criticised by the AA amongst others.

BBC Reports suggest that ministers were asked to pitch ideas at a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday, April 26. Transport secretary Grant Shapps suggested relaxing the frequency of MOTs. However, this could mean more unsafe vehicles on the road and would only serve to increase bills every two years.

Road safety issues

Every vehicle that is three years old or over must have a current MOT test certificate and drivers must renew this once a year. The test costs up to £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a motorcycle.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, believes the ideas are “well intended” if a little ill thought out.

He states that it “could make costs worse for drivers”. There is a high likelihood of “higher repair bills, make our roads more dangerous and would put jobs in the garage industry at risk”.

The Government decided against extending the first MoT test to four years due to safety concerns in 2018.

Track record

At the time, ministers said that the majority of responses it received to a consultation were against the proposals on safety grounds. The potential savings for motorists were argued to be outweighed by the risk to road users. An important part of the test is to highlight upcoming issues affecting the vehicle.

A public survey for DfT by Populus showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.

Cousens adds: “The MOT now highlights major and dangerous defects too, showing how important it is to keep cars in a safe condition.” He describes it as “fiddling at the edges”. Instead, he contends drivers would rather see pump price transparency to revive competition on the forecourts. Or perhaps expanding park and ride schemes and bus services so drivers can avoid higher inner-city driving costs.

Games and gambles

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said the meeting and suggestions showed the PM was “completely out of ideas during the most profound crisis in decades”.

He added: “Whilst families are facing sky rocketing bills and soaring inflation, Boris Johnson’s answer is another quiz night at No 10.”

Sir Ed echoed Labour and the SNP’s call for an emergency budget, including a cut in VAT, and backed opposition plans for a windfall tax on the profits of the oil and gas companies.