Log In

Reset Password

Seniors advocates back car licence changes

Advocates for the elderly have commended Premier Paula Cox’s decision not to make seniors pay to license larger cars.

Age Concern director Claudette Fleming said: “With respect to the Premier’s response of fine-tuning the original conditions outlined in the Budget, we are pleased that the concerns voiced by the seniors being affected by the proposed policy changes have been heard.”

The seniors’ exemption had been scheduled to stop on April 1 for cars of class E and above because it was being abused.

A revised plan is now being sought.

Ms Fleming had earlier called for seniors who had “a legitimate need for larger vehicles, for medical reasons” to continue getting the waiver.

“One way of identifying those with legitimate need could include the annual submission of a medical certificate,” she said.

Another suggestion, put forward by Shadow Transport Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, was the use of distinctive seniors’ licence plates on cars.

A pastel-coloured plate might introduce a measure of self-policing, she told the House.

Ms Fleming said the idea “sounded reasonable”.

“I can’t think of any immediate concern with that particular suggestion.”

With the exemption still in place, Ms Fleming said: “We also encourage those seniors who may be abusing the system to honour the special provisions provided to them, by avoiding the temptation of abuse, so that those who genuinely need support can continue to benefit.”

Seniors advocate Marian Sherratt said she was “encouraged” by the decision not to remove the exemption.

The abuse had put Government between “a rock and a hard place”, she said.

“I just wonder at how many layers of exemption and/or application of the tax there will now be, and how complex the regulations around this legislation will be,” she said.

“Yes, the issue of licence fee cheating must be addressed as, from Government’s own figures, the number of SUVs registered to seniors since the introduction of this exemption has skyrocketed.”

Ms Sherratt said it was now a question of “how do you claw back a freebie once it has been given?”

“Clearly, the present Government does not want to rock any boats right before an election but they have to stop the bleeding of tax revenue that is taking place with the repatriation of so many guest workers. It will be interesting to see how they handle this.”

On the idea of cars being issued with distinctive plates, however, she said: “I can’t think of much worse.

“Next thing, all seniors will have to wear an armband as a means of identification wasn’t this tried in another country with disastrous results?”


You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 20, 2012 at 9:54 am (Updated March 20, 2012 at 9:53 am)

Seniors advocates back car licence changes

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon