As we strive to lift our fertility rates, we should implement policies that are pro-family.
One policy that can be targeted is the certificate of entitlement (COE) system, which serves to manage the car population and congestion. A car that serves a family with children represents more effective usage of the road than one that serves a single or a couple with no children.
So why are these cars taxed in the same way?
Let us explore the feasibility of a COE rebate for families with more children. For instance, why not offer a 25 per cent rebate for each family unit with two children under the age of 18, a 50 per cent rebate for three children, and 75 per cent rebate for four children - on the condition that each family can enjoy only one rebate, regardless of the number of cars it owns.
Having children is a huge financial commitment, and such a measure would go a long way towards helping families to reduce costs.
Before Electronic Road Pricing, there was the Area Licensing Scheme, which encouraged people to carpool to avoid paying a fee when entering the Restricted Zone. In other words, we used to offer motorists the option of optimal consumption as an alternative to paying tax - a formula we can still adopt today.
This article was first published on Oct 15, 2014.
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