In the new report ‘Stuck in traffic? Road congestion in Sydney and Melbourne‘ the Grattan Institute has suggested the Victorian Government should introduce a ‘congestion tax’, making it more expensive for people to drive in central Melbourne.
The think tank did not specify how much this new levy would be, though it did indicate the price should be more in peak times and taper down to near zero in off-peak periods.
VCOSS holds serous concerns about how such a tax would be designed and implemented.
VCOSS CEO Emma King said:
A congestion tax risks hitting people on low-incomes the hardest.
VCOSS agrees it makes sense to get cars out of the city and make our roads run better.
However, making driving in the city more expensive for everybody is not the solution.
The devil would be in the detail.
If the government did ever adopt a congestion tax, significant allowances would need to be made for people without other suitable transport options.
There would need to be a raft of exemptions for people on low-incomes, people on income support and people with disabilities, who often have no other choice but to drive in the city.
The last thing Victoria needs is a scheme to make life harder for those already doing it tough.