Employers reject kilometre tax on motorways

9th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Employers association VNO-NCW is vehemently opposed to imposing a levy on motorway use during peak-hour periods.

9 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — Employers association VNO-NCW is vehemently opposed to imposing a levy on motorway use during peak-hour periods.

VNO-NCW chairman Jacques Schraven said employers would only be prepared to co-operate with a levy if new motorways are constructed or existing roads are expanded.

He said the business sector is opposed to taxes on existing infrastructure, newspaper 'NRC' reported on Monday.

A workgroup under leadership of the former chief of the Dutch motorists association ANWB, Paul Nouwen, agreed last month that a kilometre tax must be imposed at 30 traffic junctions after 2008 to combat traffic jams and air pollution.

Schraven is also a member of the workgroup, but is of a different opinion: "It is absolutely unthinkable that we co-operate on a plan for levies at 30 bottlenecks in the motorway network".

He is concerned that taxes will lead to renewed talk over tollgates. He also said levies should only be imposed once the "spade goes into the ground" for the construction and expansion of roadways.

Schraven said a new system should be implemented to speed up road works, urging the government to stimulate public-private co-operation. Employers recently reached agreement with the government in this area.

Commission chairman Nouwen said he was surprised by the new stance from employers, claiming that what they want is already included in the workgroup's guidelines, news service 'NOS' reported.

He intends on Tuesday to demand answers from employers when the workgroup's report is finalised.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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