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Cheaper licences for safer drivers

By johnboy 3 June 2013 35

Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell have the symbolic news that the ACT’s shaming ritual of sending people into the motor registry on major birthdays for licence renewal will at least be cheaper for driver who don’t get caught:

“The government made a commitment before the election last year to reward motorists who demonstrated a clean driving record. I am very pleased to be able to announce we are now delivering on that promise for drivers of the ACT,” Mr Corbell said.

“Based on current fees, this initiative will see the fee reduced by almost $32.00 for a five year licence, which is a great incentive for drivers to continue their clean driving record.

Under the initiative, all full licence holders who have attracted no demerit points and traffic infringement notices on their ACT driver licence for at least the last five years will be eligible for the discount.

“This means if you maintain a blemish free licence for five years you will be rewarded by the government for helping keep our roads across the Territory safe. Currently there are approximately 61% of the ACT driver licence holders who could be eligible for this discount.

“Provisional licence holders who have attracted no demerit points and no traffic infringement notices when progressing to a full driver licence will be eligible.

“The discount will not apply to National Heavy Vehicle Licence holders and interstate/overseas drivers transferring their licence to the ACT. Concession card holders already received a discount.

“It is important to note that the discount will only apply if the driver licence is renewed within 6 months following the expiry date.

What’s Your opinion?


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Cheaper licences for safer drivers
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howeph 5:40 pm 04 Jun 13

vet111 said :

Obviously hit a nerve there….

Yes, when I read B.S. I call it out. What’s your point?

vet111 said :

You have no idea if I’m gracious or not.

Your comment: “I object to the use of the words ‘more fortunate’. In many cases, it’s not fortune – it’s because they’ve worked hard to get where they are. Why should they be penalised for that?” is ungracious. I’m not saying your are ungracious, just that your comment is.

vet111 said :

You also have no idea if I’m ‘fortunate’ or not.

The fact that you live in this city and/or Australia makes you very fortunate indeed.

vet111 said :

And as someone else has so kindly pointed out, vulnerable people in third world countries have nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

Your comment, that I quoted, was general objection to the words ‘more fortunate’ being used to describe wealthier people.

If you are now claiming that it only relates to specific cases, then please explain under what circumstances it is, and is not, objectionable to use the phrase ‘more fortunate’ to describe wealthier people.

vet111 said :

By your logic, we should never complain about anything that happens to us, and we should be spending all of our disposable income to reduce wealth disparity globally. Good luck with that one…

Where did I say or infer that?

vet111 said :

Are wealthier people supposed to feel guilty for their wealth? Alternatively, should they feel nothing but grateful?

No need to feel guilty; grateful… yes.

vet111 said :

Are all poor people poor because of circumstances, and it has nothing to do with our own actions?

Vet111, your comments are representative of a widely held misbelief in our society. Namely that our income and/or wealth is solely or largely a result of or own hard work; that it is all of our own making.

That lots of people think this is true does not make it so. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that hard work makes no difference, nor am I saying that it is not honourable. I am however saying that “hard work” is severely overrated.

People who believe that their wealth/income is all due to their own hard work are likely to have a distorted perspective on their own self worth and that of others. If they are well off then they will have an inflated sense of their own self worth; if they are poor then they will undervalue their own self worth. They are also likely to venerate those who are wealthier than themselves and denigrate those that are poorer than themselves.

The biggest determinant of how wealthy you are is… LUCK.

In the big picture, we are lucky to have been born in this age and to be in this place. That puts us in the wealthiest few percent of people that have ever lived, and you didn’t have to lift a finger to do it.

On the small scale, within a liberal, capitalist democracy, luck has a very big part to play in avoiding poverty. We have structured our society such that the vast majority of us have incredible riches (cars, houses with central heating and cooling, washing machines, computers, tv, recreation time, holidays, etc). Just on the numbers, you really do need to be unlucky to be poor.

You asked “Are all poor people poor because of circumstances”; well how many choose to be poor?

An anecdotal example: I have some very close friends who many would consider poor. They invested their savings in their own business, worked very hard but it failed. They lost everything and still have big debts. I can’t see how they could have worked harder. In hindsight they may have made some poor business decisions; but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Poverty is a hard state to get out of. This is from the US but it does give some idea: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-being-poor/

Many on this forum will try to dismiss what I have said above as “sob stories”; but that is just a logical fallacy to avoid the issue [http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/58-avoiding-the-issue]; allowing them to keep on believing that their wealth is all down to their own hard work.

vet111 said :

Just because we live in Australia as opposed to India or Ethiopia, does that take away our right to question or be disappointed in government actions? Or should we just suck it up because, after all, it could always be worse.

Again, I never said that you can’t “question or be disappointed in government actions”; but when you do, you need to do it from a justified sense of perspective.

detached_dingleberry 3:37 pm 04 Jun 13

vet111 said :

howeph said :

vet111 said :

I object to the use of the words ‘more fortunate’.

You have no idea if I’m gracious or not. You also have no idea if I’m ‘fortunate’ or not. And as someone else has so kindly pointed out, vulnerable people in third world countries have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. By your logic, we should never complain about anything that happens to us, and we should be spending all of our disposable income to reduce wealth disparity globally. Good luck with that one…

Are wealthier people supposed to feel guilty for their wealth? Alternatively, should they feel nothing but grateful? Are all poor people poor because of circumstances, and it has nothing to do with our own actions? Just because we live in Australia as opposed to India or Ethiopia, does that take away our right to question or be disappointed in government actions? Or should we just suck it up because, after all, it could always be worse.

+ 1, agreed. My first comment was sarcastic, BTW. Sorry for ruffling everyone’s feathers.

Semi-related: How do you start a rave party in Ethiopia? Stick some toast to the ceiling.

Rollersk8r 2:29 pm 04 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

Darkfalz said :

Payment of this fee comes out of your after tax income, which was already hit harder by the “progressive” income system (and being means tested out of everything else).

The yearly rego / CTP is ridiculous and should be lowered for everyone. Disgusting cash-grab by the government.

And my heart bleeds for the well-off who are only now, very slowly and gradually, being weened off welfare. $32 a year out of one person’s $20,000 after tax income is a whole lot more than $32 out of someone else’s $100,000 after tax income.

CTP is insurance – I’d like to pay less for my house insurance too, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Rego is payment for the administration of the registration system of cars. But it’s probably also paying to provide roads and police on the roads.

But the bottom line is that the Territory Government has limited ways to raise money. It can’t apply an income tax (the fairest tax of all) nor corporate tax. It has backdoor methods like Payroll tax and Rates, but they’re not as efficient or effective. It gets a share of GST but has no control voer how much it gets, more the rate of GST, and GST revenue is not always stable.

IP

You’re being ridiculous – but especially because your maths is way off in this post and the one above it. It’s potentially $32 every FIVE years. A touch over six bucks a year (or approx. 50c per month) makes zero difference to anyone’s quality of life full stop.

vet111 1:49 pm 04 Jun 13

howeph said :

vet111 said :

I object to the use of the words ‘more fortunate’.

Boo hoo.

I’ve got news for you… you are fortunate.

All of us who live in this great city and county are fortunate; even the poorest amongst us are fortunate that they are poor here and not poor somewhere else.

I don’t care if you were born dirt poor and worked your way to personal success and security through hard work, running your own business. You are still fortunate because the society that you live in makes that a possibility.

You are fortunate, and the least you could do is be gracious about it.

Obviously hit a nerve there….

You have no idea if I’m gracious or not. You also have no idea if I’m ‘fortunate’ or not. And as someone else has so kindly pointed out, vulnerable people in third world countries have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. By your logic, we should never complain about anything that happens to us, and we should be spending all of our disposable income to reduce wealth disparity globally. Good luck with that one…

Are wealthier people supposed to feel guilty for their wealth? Alternatively, should they feel nothing but grateful? Are all poor people poor because of circumstances, and it has nothing to do with our own actions? Just because we live in Australia as opposed to India or Ethiopia, does that take away our right to question or be disappointed in government actions? Or should we just suck it up because, after all, it could always be worse.

Spiral 1:05 pm 04 Jun 13

howeph said :

Spiral said :

On the other hand I wasn’t aware that poor people living in third world countries generally paid for ACT licences or ACT parking/traffic fines (another area where the “fortunate” weasel word crops up).

Sorry, I don’t understand the point that you are trying to make. Can you please elaborate?

Vet111 was objecting to the word ‘more fortunate’ in response to detached_dingleberry stating that the fee should be based on income.

This is a discussion about people in the ACT paying for their license.

The fact that the poorest people in Canberra are much wealthier than the poorest people in some Third World country has nothing to do with people in this city paying for their license.

caf 12:28 pm 04 Jun 13

PantsMan said :

FFS! This will cost more to administer than the $6 per year “bonus”.

I very much doubt it, it should be easy enough for this to be automatically applied by the computer that does the license renewals.

This is actually quite a smart idea – some recent studies have shown that small and even intangible rewards tend to produce more improvement to behaviour than threats of even large punishments. That’s also why electricity bills are starting to do things like tell you “good job!” when you used less electricity than the average in your area.

caf 12:24 pm 04 Jun 13

noma said :

Not bad idea. I’d like to see discounts applied to the annual rego, which is a killer

The problem with that it’s that it’s gameable – crafty sorts would just put the whole families regos into Nanna’s name (who doesn’t drive at all these days, therefore has a perfect record).

howeph 11:59 am 04 Jun 13

Spiral said :

On the other hand I wasn’t aware that poor people living in third world countries generally paid for ACT licences or ACT parking/traffic fines (another area where the “fortunate” weasel word crops up).

Sorry, I don’t understand the point that you are trying to make. Can you please elaborate?

watto23 11:43 am 04 Jun 13

PantsMan said :

FFS! This will cost more to administer than the $6 per year “bonus”.

Is there any function of government that these clowns don’t think can be changed into a behaviour modification program?

I’m waiting for Labor and Greens to announce that they are dispensing will all these stupid programs, and are now only going to make grown up decisions!

I can’t see any benefit really. It is not going to affect driver attitude, yes some people will appreciate the $32 discount, but i’d argue if money is that tight, there are plenty of other savings you could make that would return a lot better savings.

Besides this $32 is going to be coming from a different source. So as long as something else doesn’t go up by $32 then you’ll get that saving!

That said i went in to get motorbike L’s added to my car licenses yesterday. The staff were friendly, the queue was processed efficiently and they charged me $19, which included a new license and photo. I can guarantee that $19 did not cover the expenses incurred, so the rest of the money comes from somewhere.

this is why getting rid of stamp duty is a good idea. Reduces the dependence on a government to rely on housing sales, yes there will always be losers in these scenarios.

And really while there is no excuse for speeding, many, good drivers occasionally get caught for doing 67 or 89 in a 60 or 80 zone respectively. did they do the wrong thing? technically yes, are they automatically a bad driver? no, because there are plenty of slow inattentive drivers on the road, or tailgaters who might never actually get caught and keep their points intact

Spiral 11:27 am 04 Jun 13

howeph said :

[I’ve got news for you… you are fortunate.

All of us who live in this great city and county are fortunate; even the poorest amongst us are fortunate that they are poor here and not poor somewhere else.

I don’t care if you were born dirt poor and worked your way to personal success and security through hard work, running your own business. You are still fortunate because the society that you live in makes that a possibility.

You are fortunate, and the least you could do is be gracious about it.

Very true.

On the other hand I wasn’t aware that poor people living in third world countries generally paid for ACT licences or ACT parking/traffic fines (another area where the “fortunate” weasel word crops up).

howeph 10:40 am 04 Jun 13

vet111 said :

I object to the use of the words ‘more fortunate’.

Boo hoo.

I’ve got news for you… you are fortunate.

All of us who live in this great city and county are fortunate; even the poorest amongst us are fortunate that they are poor here and not poor somewhere else.

I don’t care if you were born dirt poor and worked your way to personal success and security through hard work, running your own business. You are still fortunate because the society that you live in makes that a possibility.

You are fortunate, and the least you could do is be gracious about it.

PantsMan 10:39 am 04 Jun 13

FFS! This will cost more to administer than the $6 per year “bonus”.

Is there any function of government that these clowns don’t think can be changed into a behaviour modification program?

I’m waiting for Labor and Greens to announce that they are dispensing will all these stupid programs, and are now only going to make grown up decisions!

IrishPete 9:48 am 04 Jun 13

Darkfalz said :

Payment of this fee comes out of your after tax income, which was already hit harder by the “progressive” income system (and being means tested out of everything else).

The yearly rego / CTP is ridiculous and should be lowered for everyone. Disgusting cash-grab by the government.

And my heart bleeds for the well-off who are only now, very slowly and gradually, being weened off welfare. $32 a year out of one person’s $20,000 after tax income is a whole lot more than $32 out of someone else’s $100,000 after tax income.

CTP is insurance – I’d like to pay less for my house insurance too, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Rego is payment for the administration of the registration system of cars. But it’s probably also paying to provide roads and police on the roads.

But the bottom line is that the Territory Government has limited ways to raise money. It can’t apply an income tax (the fairest tax of all) nor corporate tax. It has backdoor methods like Payroll tax and Rates, but they’re not as efficient or effective. It gets a share of GST but has no control voer how much it gets, more the rate of GST, and GST revenue is not always stable.

IP

IrishPete 9:42 am 04 Jun 13

vet111 said :

detached_dingleberry said :

The fee should be based on how much you earn. It’s not fair that people on lower incomes pay the same as those who are ‘more fortunate’.

I object to the use of the words ‘more fortunate’. In many cases, it’s not fortune – it’s because they’ve worked hard to get where they are. Why should they be penalised for that?

And I don’t think you can compare it to things like income or corporate tax. Licence fees are to contribute to administration of a system that poor and wealthy use equally. Ergo, they should pay equally. It’s not user pays, unless you are too poor to afford the licence fee (but can still afford a car) so everyone else will subsidise you.

And you believe this doesn’t go into consolidated revenue? It costs a minimum $31.40 a year. Let’s say there are 200,000 licence holders in the ACT, that’s $6.28 million a year to pay for administration. That’s a lot of administration. It is probably more complex than that (some could be siphoned off to pay for traffic policing etc), but I’m suggesting that your idea that it pays for “administration” is perhaps a little too trusting.

As for the idea that poor and rich use certain things equally, therefore they should pay equally, well, that has a fair few holes in it.

IP

Baggy 9:17 am 04 Jun 13

Perhaps while they’re at it that can make people sit the licence test at renewal time. I reckon there would be a significant number of people who would fail…

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