APTO wants fair play

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS -

REEL­ING UN­DER SKY-ROCK­ET­ING fuel costs and a stag­nant in­come base, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Pub­lic Trans­port Op­er­a­tors (APTO) is call­ing on Govern­ment for fair treat­ment in the trans­porta­tion sec­tor.

In a state­ment on Jan­uary 2, APTO said the fuel charge had in­creased op­er­at­ing ex­penses on an av­er­age of $14 000, but as high as $17 000, but bus fare re­mained at $2 per trip, re­gard­less of dis­tance.

And while the av­er­age driver also got an ease on his road tax, pub­lic ser­vice ve­hi­cle (PSV) op­er­a­tors were still re­quired to pay half ($750 or $1 500) while the trans­fer fees for per­mits also in­creased from $1 to $1 000.

The fuel tax, which was levied at a rate of 40 cents per litre, was in­tro­duced in last June’s Mini-bud­get by Prime Min­is­ter Mia Mot­t­ley to re­place road tax.

“The sec­tor is among the heav­i­est users of diesel fuel on the is­land and the im­po­si­tion of the fuel tax has added a con­sid­er­able cost to its op­er­a­tions. [It] fur­ther threatened its con­tin­u­ing vi­a­bil­ity, given that its in­come base has re­mained at $2 per trip, re­gard­less of dis­tance, since 2011, while the costs of in­puts have in­creased steadily over the in­ter­ven­ing pe­riod,” the state­ment said. ( PR/SAT)

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