Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong today (April 11th) said that free parking in some car park spaces are not “free” and are in fact subsidies from the government.
“Free parking is not free, it’s a subsidy to the motorist, paid for by non-motorists.”
Minister Lawrence Wong also added that he will be raising car park fees in Singapore because he claimed increasing the cost of car ownership will cut down the number of cars on the road. This new proposal is poised to add at least S$10 million dollars a year in government revenue for car parks charges. Free parking may be eliminated following Minister Wong’s comment.
However, businesses especially those in the transport sector like taxi drivers and private transport operators will be seriously penalized by the government’s decision to raise car park costs.
Although the Singapore government wants to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, it has made plans for a 6.9 million population in 13 years’ time. Currently, the cost of vehicle ownership is the highest in the world due to multiple taxes of the same functions like Certificate of Entitlement (COE), registration tax, road tax and ERP tax. The COE system is designed to benefit the rich as there are no penalties for multiple car-ownership and buying multiple COE certificates.
The announcement of increasing car park taxes today is timed after the General Election in 2015, which was not mentioned during the PAP election campaign.