asked the Minister of Transport what progress he has made with his proposals for improving vehicle excise duty administration.
When I announced the Government's decision to retain VED, I proposed a number of changes to improve its administration. Together these were designed further to reduce the number of civil servants involved by over 1,000 and to save £7 million in administrative costs.I gave further details of my plans for transferring virtually all relicensing work to an increased number of post offices on 19 March. I have now completed the consultation I promised on the proposals to change the minimum licensing period from four to six months and to introduce a savings stamps scheme.In the light of this, and with the agreement of my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I have decided to go ahead with both proposals. Five-pound stamps will be on sale in post offices from 11 August. They will be able to be used in whole or part payment for any vehicle licence issued either by post offices or my local vehicle licensing offices.
I propose to make the change from four to six monthly licences beginning on or after 1 October 1980. I will lay the necessary orders before the House during the summer.
These changes will be made in Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the same time.