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Car licence fees to be cut by up to $200 from next month

Easing the pain: vehicle licensing fees will be reduced from next month (File photograph)

Car licence fees will be cut from April 1 after legislation was passed in the House of Assembly tonight.

Drivers will see the cost of an annual vehicle licence cut by 10 per cent after MPs backed the Motor Car Amendment Act 2022.

The amendment, presented to the House by Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, will result in savings of between $30 and $200 a year for motorists, depending on the class of their vehicle.

Susan Jackson, the opposition One Bermuda Alliance spokeswoman on transport, supported the amendment and said that “every penny counts”.

But she added that, with inflation continuing to rise, any savings would be quickly eroded.

She suggested that there were other “more creative ways” to benefit drivers.

Ms Jackson said that the Government could take 10 per cent of revenue brought in by licence fees and use it to repair roads.

She added: “When we’re driving on these roads, our tyres, our steering, our shocks, are all going because of potholes.”

Cole Simons, the opposition leader, suggested a reduction in fuel taxes.

But the suggestions were met with scorn by government MPs.

Neville Tyrrell said that the cut offered “assistance to a wide range of people”.

Zane DeSilva added: “It may be a small token but it’s a token of appreciation.”

Kim Swan said that the saving was “huge” for people who were ”scraping pennies to make ends meet“.

David Burt, the Premier, said he was “stunned” at opposition criticism and highlighted that licence fees had increased by 5 per cent every year until 2017 — and had never been reduced.

Mr Burt also mocked Mr Simons’ suggestion that gas taxes be reduced and reminded him that the last OBA Government had increased taxes.

He did hint that a petrol tax reduction could be in the pipeline and that he would give more details at the next sitting of the House.

Mr Burt said: “I look forward to Friday, when we will share with this Honourable House, what we are going to do about gasoline taxes and reducing the price of fuel at the pumps.”

Mr Burt added: “We’re making history in the House tonight.”

But Scott Pearman of the OBA hit back: “To describe a reduction in vehicle licensing as making history really is grasping at straws.”

Mr Pearman said the reduction was “tokenism”.

But he added: ”We’re supportive of it because every little bit helps but the fact that the Government is so thin-skinned that they would attack the Opposition for making a suggestion which we now hear the Government is going to come and do anyway is just barmy. What planet is this?

“Desperate times — and perhaps we are seeing somebody who will be history.“

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Published March 17, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated March 17, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Car licence fees to be cut by up to $200 from next month

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