Forum: Set aside portion of COEs for those who truly need them

I share senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan's view that with certificate of entitlement prices at an all-time high, it is a good time to refine the system so that prices are more aligned with societal goals (COE breaching $100,000 can be a good thing, June 10).

To fleet operators and delivery companies, the COE is merely a ticket to securing a revenue-generating asset. Compared with commuters, they have much more financial firepower and the ability to amortise the cost of a COE over its usable life.

For affluent residents, the car is more than a form of transport - it is also a status symbol. They do not mind high COE prices, as the car serves as an outlet for excess disposable income.

There is, however, a group of commuters for whom the car is an essential mobility tool. They include parents with young children, as well as the elderly and people with disabilities. This group, which is arguably most in need of private transport, is also most at risk of being shut out by sky-high COE prices.

Setting aside a portion of the COE quota for this "needier" group could help to rein in the rising costs of parenting and ageing. It would also promote a better quality of life for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The remaining COE quota could be split between those who are acquiring a vehicle for commercial use (including private-hire car drivers) and an open category for all other commuters.

Peter Heng Teck Wee

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