The Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) will collect more road usage taxes by increasing 50 cents for road usage on CTE in North-bound direction during the peak hours. Through the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), vehicle owners will see an increase from S$0.50 to S$1 between 6pm and 6.30pm, S$0.50 to S$1 between 7.30pm to 8pm, and S$1.50 to S$2 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
The LTA did not give a justification for the increase, except to say that the increase is resulted from a “quarterly review of road-traffic conditions”. The increase in ERP charges during these peak hours will discourage Singaporeans from leaving the town area early and create more traffic jams especially in Orchard Road. Singaporean employees who live in the densely-populated constituencies in northern Singapore, will be deterred from leaving offices early to avoid ERP charges.
Every year, the Singapore government collects more than S$150 million from ERP taxes alone. Like COE and GST, ERP is a form of indirect tax that made Singapore one of the costliest cities in the world. Mercer ranked Singapore 4th most expensive city in the world in a recent 2016 survey. An increase in indirect taxes on transport inevidently increase the cost of goods and services as commercial vehicles like delivery trucks and taxis are not spared.