People’s Voice’s Shadow Cabinet Member Kok Ming Cheang took to his Facebook on Wednesday (26 June) to slam the ruling Government for being “money-driven” after its recent hike in fines for parking offences in Singapore.
In his post, Mr Kok said that as a money-minded Government, it thinks of all ways to up levies, taxes and fines for the people of Singapore.
This is done by “simply directing its public service agencies like URA and HDB to up their penalty rates to bring in more revenue immediately”, he explained.
He was referring to the announcement made by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing & Developing Board (HDB) on 24 June to impose stiffer fines for parking offences from 1 July 2019. He noted that the agencies “jacked up fines for illegal parking, parking without coupons or activation of digital parking or just over-parking by exceeding the time provided in the parking coupons”.
“It looks like a desperate attempt to squeeze more money from even the man in the street who has to ride a motorcycle to deliver food, drive a private-hire car or heavy vehicle for business,” wrote the member of People’s Voice.
Mr Kok also detailed the percentage of increase for the fines, some even reaching up to 40%.
For illegal parking of motorcycles, the fine goes up from $25 to $35, for cars from $50 to $70 and heavy vehicles from $80 to $100, a rise of 40%, 40% and 25% respectively.
For parking without a coupon or activation of digital parking, fine remains at $8 unchanged for motorcycles but increases by 33% for cars and 25% for heavy vehicles.
For overparking, no change in fines for motorcycles but for cars , increase from $6-$20 to $8-$24 and heavy vehicles from $12-$40 to $16-$48, an increase of 20% to 33%.
In response to the hike, he said that for those who are cab or commercial vehicle drivers as well as motorcyclist who delivers food, this could mean the loss of their one or two days’ earnings.
If that is not all, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also announced in February this year that it raised fines for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who are found guilty of traffic offences.
“It is easy to justify the hefty increases in traffic fines as making them as deterrent to errant motorists. But to jack up the fines by 30% to 100% and even above to 117% is another matter, a very serious matter for people who have to drive scar or ride a bike for a living,” Mr Kok noted.
In addition, Mr Kok also said that even for offences that does not incur demerit points, the fines are up to 40% and 50% for light and heavy vehicles respectively, whereas an increase of 100% and above are given to offences that incur 12 demerit points.
As such, these hefty fines causes “unforeseen burden” for ordinary people as it takes a big chunk of money out of their wallet, he said.
He added that sadly no one in or outside the Parliament rejected such increases.
“I see these decisions to increase the burden of fines (when some violations are not deliberate), as a coordinated plan by regulatory agencies to extract more money from the people at large. It is also clear that this government has exhausted all known sources of revenue and brutal extraction of money from fines seems to the last resort to beef up the government coffer,” he said.
Mr Kok also opined that this situation had happened to Singapore due to the “continuous voting for the PAP government over 50 years, to run our lives”.
As such, he stressed that, “Peoples Voice will put a stop to such abuse of power to beef up government revenue. Such agencies are regulatory, not revenue generation bodies to support the government budget. This must be clear to all Singaporeans”.