I wasn't aware that public service help lines had become a government profit centre; but apparently they are.
According to Hansard: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has received the following amounts from its use of revenue sharing phone numbers for each of the last five years.
What a great scam! Apparently premium rate numbers were introduced in 1999 to "Not there to raise money but to flatten out discrepancies in the amount paid to call Swansea from different parts of the UK"
Well as a reader of On the BackChannel I'd like to introduce you to SayNoto0870 and if you ever need to phone DVLA here is the number you should call to get around the rip off 01792 782341.