Talking to a sales representative and he was happy that there would be no Plus toll increase for 5 years.
For those who use the NS Highway frequently, it is indeed good news. But for those of us who do not use it often, but are taxpayers, it is actually not such good deal.
For the deferred increase in toll, government has to foot compensation about 5 billions , whcih is from tax payers’ money. For those earning less than 2000 a month, they probably do not have to pay income tax. But for those who have to pay income taxes, like many of us out there, we are actually subsidising the frequent users of the Plus highway. Instead of users paying for usage, it is now those paying tax who foot it.
But wait a minute.. Even among those who do not need to pay income tax, many forget that they are tax payers too. They do pay road taxes and indirect taxes such as sales tax, service tax and excise tax, import taxes etc etc..Anyone who will in some way contribute to government coffers is actually tax payer.
Although there was a piece of news (read here) saying that the government may not need to pay compensation(and I hope this is true), since PLUS is to be taken over soon, I will only believe it if Plus announces it officially that it would not seek compensation for the freeze on toll hike.
In the first place, there should not be such agreements for toll review every 3 years. Then secondly, remedial actions such as buying over PLUS should have been done long long ago.
But as i say, many road users like the salesman mentioned above ( who see things oly superficially) would be happy , and they are actually a big group of voters out there. No wonder this is labelled as an election budget!