Grouse news if you live in Sydney and the tolls on your daily commute to work vigorously kick the shit out of your wallet every week: the government is introducing a registration rebate scheme that could see your rego made as cheap as free.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it was announced today by premier Gladys Berejiklian, who said that it could cost the state up to $100 million a year:
It could be more than that amount into the future. This is a growing cost to government but we know we can afford it. We will be able to tell you a bit more once this first year is finished because we know this could affect people’s behaviour.
The scheme (which retroactively applies from July 1 this year) will see motorists who spend over $25 a week on tolls refunded anywhere up to the full cost of their rego. The rebate applies to regular cars, motorbikes, utes and most vehicles under 2,795kg (if your car weighs 2,800kg, maybe consider just how much you need to have a spare tire).
The measure was criticised by Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi, who saw it as effectively a way for the government to funnel what would have otherwise been tax dollars into the hands of a private company:
This is effectively hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in foregone revenue. If this government is serious about addressing the cost of living, they should be capping tolls and making sure people have real and affordable alternatives.
It also seems kinda weird to be giving people a financial incentive to drive their car to and from work when we really should be encouraging people to switch to public transport because traffic is already hellish and we’re all very quickly destroying the planet – but, hey: FREE REGO.