Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Western Cape may get fuel tax

I am a politician and I am here to help you

The easy way out for politicians to "fix things" but toxic for the economy is to raise taxes. The politicians should fire themselves and so save some money. After all, South African politicians are one of the best paid politicians in the world
. Don't believe it? See What World MP's really make and just try to find South Africa.

Update: US Congress orders 3 Gulfstreams. We need it!
Update1: SA government will spend R 2,4 Billion on lay-off scheme. Rand drops.

Western Cape may get fuel tax


Cape Town - The Western Cape's DA government is looking at introducing a tax on fuel to help subsidise the cost of maintaining the province's road networks.

"Yes, fuel tax is being looked at again, but as part of a package," Democratic Alliance transport MEC Robin Carlisle told a media briefing at Parliament on Tuesday.

The "package" included no new roads.

"There will be no further new roads in the Western Cape. The days of road building are over. Because we can't maintain what we've got, it makes no sense to build new roads.

"There will [also] be no further undoing of the 'big knots' in the Western Cape, such as Koeberg [a motorway junction in Cape Town] and Hospital Hill [also in Cape Town].

"Those days are also over. We simply can't afford that," he said.

The briefing - led by DA transport spokesperson Stuart Farrow - marked the launch of the party's new transport policy.

Farrow told journalists there had been a "mass deterioration" of South Africa's roads over the past decade, and an estimated R120bn was required to fix them.

This deterioration was the result of "inadequate funding and rising costs of construction and maintenance", he said.

Speaking later to Sapa, Carlisle said National Treasury had granted the former African National Congress government in the Western Cape permission to impose a fuel tax about three years ago, but it had chosen not to do so.

According to a study at the time, there were concerns about the impact such a levy would have on the province's economy.

Carlisle said he did not have concerns in this regard. High vehicle licence tariffs in the Western Cape were having more of an impact, with many owners, particularly of heavy vehicles, choosing to register in other provinces.

Asked if a fuel tax similar to what was proposed previously - between 10c and 50c a litres - was being considered for the province, he said the levy would be at "the bottom end of that band".

"It depends on what National Treasury allows us."

The application for such a tax would probably be submitted next year, he said.

Speaking at the briefing, Farrow called for the establishment of a dedicated national Road Maintenance Fund, funded primarily from the existing fuel levy.

Money raised through this levy and sent to provinces was often not being used for road maintenance.

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