Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Dutch Transport Minister Camiel Eurling's plan to equip all Dutch cars with a GPS box by 2018, which will register every kilometre driven, which has unleashed a storm of criticism. Motorists in the Netherlands already pay 70 percent in taxes on petrol. Not only will they now have to pay to be allowed to drive to work, but family visits and even voluntary work will be hit, your private life will be tracked de facto.
What the plan will mean?
Charges will depend on time and place, with environmentally friendly cars charged at a lower rate. Driving gas-guzzling SUVs during the rush-hour in the major cities will become expensive. The Dutch government reckons the system will bring about a 15 percent reduction in use of the roads, which, in turn, will mean traffic jams will be cut by half. Environmental pollution and noise should also fall.
The costs are complicated, with the minister claiming that, while driving a car will on average become more expensive, 59 percent of the motoring public will actually end up paying less than at present. Meanwhile, the scrapping of purchase tax on new cars will make them considerably cheaper.
But ending with a negative note, the Belgian government announced last Saturday that it too plans to introduce a compatible system. The Dutch enjoy making trips into Belgium to sample their southerly neighbours' good food and general bon vivre. Do the Dutch soon also to be charged for driving in Belgium. Which country is next? And will this a good system for the USA? Dunno, not, that will cause a revolution!!