Bold moves our Govt should take
I am afraid that we will get nowhere as a nation if we are unwilling to take bold steps whenever we identify a direction we wish to go. I make specific reference to the Finance Minister, Larry Howai, and how he has continued in the vein of many of his predecessors as far as energy policy is concerned. Specifically he has fiddled with the gas subsidy, but this measure is unlikely to tackle the underlying problems in the long run.
I would like, however, to propose bolder moves.
1. I propose that the Minister invest heavily in clean, regular and fast public transport, be it the water taxi or the rapid rail. He should also consider upgrading taxi and maxi stands all over the country. All said, it must simply become cheaper, more pleasant and more convenient to travel via public transport than to drive.
2. The world market has seen the emergence of viable mass-market electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. I propose that these vehicles be imported and sold with no vehicular tax and reduced or eliminated VAT.
3. All government/public buildings should be designed or redesigned/retrofitted to lead the way in better design and low energy/alternative energy consumption.
All of this would lower the cost of energy that is now borne by the Treasury, and will provide our citizens with an opportunity to think differently about how we live and take care of our country as individuals.
I do hope we can move beyond symbolism into concrete action to take our country forward.