Why have evening ERP in the first place?
Home > ST Forum > Story Aug 31, 2007ELECTRONIC ROAD PRICINGWhy have evening ERP in the first place? BACK in 1998 when Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) was introduced to replace the Area Licensing Scheme, the reason given was that it was imperative that traffic in the Central Business District (CBD) be kept free flowing so as not to impair the conduct of business.
Then ERP was introduced for roads leading to the CBD. The public generally agreed that keeping traffic in the CBD free flowing requires the access roads to the CBD to be congestion free.
Rates were increased frequently in an attempt to improve the ever-deteriorating situation, especially on the CTE, but to not much avail.
The real problem was that there were too many cars and too little road space.
Again, the public acquiesced to the higher rates to support the efficient conduct of business.
Then ERP was introduced in the evening but it did not ease the traffic congestion. So now the authorities have decided to extend the ERP in the evening to a much later hour - 10.30pm. This may or may not solve the problem.
But traffic congestion in the evening is not the sore point. The sore point is having evening ERP in the first place. It runs contrary to the reason for introducing ERP - for better business efficiency. Going home from work and being caught in traffic is a pain that most people can tolerate, just like driving into town on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The ill effect is strictly personal and has nothing to do with the conduct of business.
The question that begs to be asked is why then are the authorities doing this? Have the authorities considered the ramifications?
With the extended evening ERP, motorists who do not want to pay are left with two choices - leave work early or get home much later. The former is not good for business. The latter will further adversely affect family life that is already poorer than in most other countries.
As a mother whose children are already working long hours, I urge the authorities not to cause them to return even later. The little time I spend with them in the evening is cherished by us.
Ivy Bragassam (Mrs)
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http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/ You can view it in the context of the entire discussion by going to: http://forums.delphiforums.com/sammyboymod/messages/?msg=150075.3http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sg_Review/message/2577By: Mellanie Hewlitt Singapore Review 15 Jan 2005COE, Parf, ARF - confused? Characteristics of The Great COE ScamIt is glaring that although Singapore has the world's most expensive cars, the vast majority of car owners remain confounded by the complicated pricing and ownership system. (See artcile from the New Paper 14 Jan 2005 "COE, Parf, ARF - confused?") http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/top/story/0,4136,81225,00.html?In all developed countries, buying a car is a simple and transparent affair that is concluded between buyer and seller. The only other third-parties involved are the insurance company and the finance company. In Singapore a series of bureaucratic shields and paperwork complicate the process.The system is massively complicated, designed to confuse the average car buyer. The objective is to disguise the underlying scam which involves siphoning funds from the car owner into the bloated coffers of the government.The latest tender saw car COE premiums ending at $18,400 (up to 1,600cc) and $14,002 (above 1,600cc) - the lowest in over a decade. The government is set to release between 100,000 to 120,000 COEs this year. At an average COE "price" of approx SGD16,201 per COE this amounts to a whopping SGD1,944,120,000/- in COE revenue for the government.Although the supposed objective of the COE system was to regulate traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion, a number of characteristic reveal the actual COE scam which has the hidden purpose of siphoning funds from car owners.The scam is Revealed via the following formulae:COE Revenue = COE Price X Number of COE issued.Regardless of the price of the COE, the total COE revenue collected remains generally stable at approx SGD1.994 billion. This is because any fall in price is compensated by issuance of more COEs hence keeping the COE revenue relatively stable.Below are some of the characteristics of the COE scam:1) The illusion created by the Scam is that the price of the COE flustuates as a result of demand and supply. In reality Car Owners are actually providing a buffer for the government and ensuring a steady COE income stream.2) The scam also effectively encourages Car Owners to scrap perfectly good vehicles early. 3-4 year old cars in mint condition and purchased at very high COE prices are scrapped early when COE prices fall. With a greater number of vehicles "retired prematurely" the government can then issue more COEs at lower prices creating the illusion of a COE market that is driven by demand and supply.In the above scenario, the constant that is maintained is the COE revenue. In a market that is truly driven by Demand and Supply, a fall in demand will eventually lead to a fall in supply which will translate into reduced sales reveunes.3) It is Impossible to actually own a car in Singapore. To ensure continuity of the COE income stream, the PAP government has effectively made freehold car ownership in Singapore impossible. Car Owners never actually "own" the car per say, even after spending so much money on a piece of paper, all they actually hold is a lease giving them a conditional revocable right to drive a car for 10 years.At the expiration of this lease, the COE certificate is either renewed via payment of additional fees by current owner, or (in event the old owner chooses not to renew the lease) it is "purchased" by a new bidder. Either ways the PAP government is assured of a never ending income stream.4) The scam is also revealed when a car owner attempts to scrap prematurely. The system does not allow the car owner a cash rebate on the balance COE. Instead, the car owner has to purchase another car (and another COE) and deduct his COE rebates from the final purchase price. This ruse ensures that COE money remains with the government even when a COE is scrapped prematurely, thus assuring them of a steady income stream, albeit at the expense of car owners.5) This ruse has been used successfully for over a decade in conjunction with a series of other hidden "taxes" (like the ERP, CPF, GST etc) all designed to provide a cheap and ready source of revenue for undisclosed government activities.6) The scam is given a veil of legitimacy with the support of laws and regulations. The local government owned media regularly report that the COE system "is tightly regulated and very competitive".7) A plethora of technical terms are used also add layers to the scam and hide the underlying ruse. Terms like "COE", "PARF", "ARF", "OMV" etc.The COE scam also works in conjunction with other scams and is part of a more elaborate process. On top of the COE, car owners also have to pay Road Tax (which is reasonable) and also ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) which imposes a further cost for road usage.So Car owners are penalized not just for leasing a car but also for the road usage.8) Other countries like Hong Kong also successfully control traffic and the COE concept is conspicuously absent from these countries. In fact in Hong Kong although there is a high cost to owning a car, this is contained in the parking fees and charges which are paid to landlords. The main difference here is that the parking fees are collected by land lords and channeled back into the private sector.In Singapore the COE revenues totaling SGD2 billion are channeled directly into government coffers. No one knows what happens to this massive amount of money.9) How does the government justify the existence of such a system in the first place? After years of implementation, the original objective of the system (which was to control traffic congestion) has long since been lost. Traffic jams are a common occurence all over the island especially during peak hours and even the implementation of additional penalties like the ERP have failed to address this problem.So what exactly are Singaporeans paying for when there is no concrete proof for justification of the system? Such an obvious scam would have risen many questioning eyebrows in other developed nations. But here in Singapore part of the reason for the success in the deceit lies in the social political circumstances which are unique only to Singapore.There is basically no accountability in government administration and the political system effectively discourages any calls for clarifications. Law suites are used as a convenient tool to silence political opposition members and the international press.After decades of indoctrination, local citizens have adopted a spirit of apathy and unquestioning obedience to any enforced regulations and policies. Indeed the government scammers are sound very legitimate. They are usually polite, friendly, personable, sincere, convincing, and controlling; formidable foes for more trusting average Car Owner.10) Social and Psychological Indoctrination are important tools in the scammers arsenal. In Singapore, a car has been portrayed by the government as a "luxury item" in order to justify its high price.On the other hand, government policies place immense pressure on families to reproduce and more than one child. This, coupled with uncertain employment (and high unemployment rates of 4.50% p.a.) have necessitated dual income families with both spouses work...----------------------------Forwarded Message----------------------------Forum: the Sammyboy.com's Alfresco Coffee Shop Forum Subject: Why was COE introduced? From: (GOPAL_SINGH) To: (iPhony) DateTime: 21/08/2007 08:59:34It was introduced as one of many revenue generating schemes for the lee's coffers.