Following on from a post at The Devils's Kitchen in respect of the appalling sickie culture at the DVLA, ad627 (a bad year, if you ask me) suggests we just abandon the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).
This is quite practical now, seeing as we have electronic MoTs, almost, if not all, insurance policies cross-referenced and police use ANPR to check the status, not some badge in a window. I would not be surprised that the VED's main benefit today is to remind people they need to get an MoT - that is certainly what I end up using it for! Bloody expensive service, though, at £140 for next year's reminder...
If we do scrap, what needs to be resolved, however, is to have a form of physical receipt so that "compoo'er sez naaaao" failures do not end up with someone being hauled off and their car impounded, which does happen on occasion. This could be kept in the vehicle so that at least it will give the fuzz a moment of pause and other reference numbers to look up before they take knee-jerk action based upon the skills of a script-kiddie in Swansea (who probably took a sickie half way through writing that piece of code - and anyone in the trade will know that bugs and sick leave go hand in hand...).
However, this does not really solve much and certainly the sickie issue, for the scrapping of the VED will not result in the shutting down of the DVLA, for the MoT and Insurance cross referencing is, IIRC, run out of Swansea by the DVLA!