Petrol duty hike: Taxi, private-hire car operators to pass on rebates to drivers, says LTA

Petrol duty hike: Taxi, private-hire car operators to pass on rebates to drivers, says LTA

Taxi operators and private-hire car (PHC) lessors have committed to pass on the 15 per cent road tax rebates introduced to ease the impact of the recent petrol duty hike, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (Feb 24) in a news release. This means taxi and PHC drivers can expect to get rental or incentive rebates in the coming months. Nadhir Mokhtar reports.

SINGAPORE: Taxi operators and private-hire car (PHC) lessors have committed to pass on the 15 per cent road tax rebates introduced to ease the impact of the recent petrol duty hike, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (Feb 24) in a news release.

This means taxi and PHC drivers can expect to get rental or incentive rebates in the coming months.

Active drivers will also receive, as previously announced, petrol duty rebates amounting to S$360 over four consecutive months. The disbursement will take place from May to August through the taxi and PHC operators, said LTA on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget statement last week announced that petrol duty rates would be raised by 15 cents per litre for premium petrol with immediate effect, while intermediate petrol duty were raised by 10 cents per litre.

Mr Heng and LTA also announced that a total of S$113 million will be set aside by the Government to provide tax rebates for petrol and petrol-hybrid vehicles.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said on Wednesday that some people have shared their concerns about the petrol duty hike, "especially those who rely on their vehicles for their livelihoods".

"To address these concerns, we have worked with the unions and operators to bring forward some of the support measures, to help ease the transition for active taxi and PHC drivers, as well as individual owners of smaller motorcycles," Dr Khor said in a Facebook post.

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Taxi operators have committed to "fully pass on" the 15 per cent road tax rebates to main hirers who drive petrol and petrol-hybrid cabs through rental rebates between mid-March and April, according to LTA.

GrabRentals and Grab's recommended fleet partners have also committed to "passing on the road tax rebates" to petrol and petrol-hybrid PHC drivers, while Gojek has committed to "introducing additional incentive rebates for their drivers in March and April 2021", said LTA.

"We urge all vehicle lessors to pass on the road tax rebates to their lessees, who are incurring the higher petrol costs."

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No application is required for the road tax rebates or the S$360 petrol duty rebates.

The latter will be given to all drivers, including main hirers and relief drivers, who are eligible for the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund or who completed an average of at least 200 trips per month between January and April.

"Eligible drivers will be notified by their operators," said Dr Khor.

REBATES FOR MOTORCYCLE OWNERS

As previously announced, all motorcycle owners will receive 60 per cent road tax rebate for one year from Aug 1, 2021 to Jul 31, 2022.

"We urge owners who are leasing out their motorcycles to pass on the rebates to their lessees, who are incurring higher petrol costs," said LTA on Wednesday.

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Individual owners of motorcycles with engine capacity of 200cc and below will get S$80 in petrol duty rebate, while individual owners of motorcycles with engine capacity of between 201cc and 400cc will receive S$50, as announced last week. Only owners who are registered as at the end of Feb 16 are eligible.

LTA on Wednesday said this will be disbursed "progressively from mid-May, through GIRO or PayNow (NRIC)". Owners can update their bank account details on LTA's website.

No application is required and owners will be notified via SMS when the petrol duty rebate has been credited to their bank accounts, said the authority.

It added that individual owners with more than one motorcycle will receive road tax rebates for each motorcycle, but only one payout of the petrol duty rebate based on the higher quantum among the eligible motorcycles.

"Taken together, the road tax rebates and the additional petrol duty rebates will help offset about one year of petrol duty increases for taxis, PHCs and motorcycles," said Dr Khor.

Source: CNA/jt(rw)

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