National budgets must not only address issues of the present, but also prepare a nation for the future. Arguably, one of the biggest nods to the future that came out of Budget 2021 on Tuesday was the slew of initiatives targeted at ensuring a cleaner and greener footprint for the transport sector in the future. Three measures, in particular, drove this point home.
First was the announcement of an immediate hike in petrol duty. A litre of petrol will cost up to 15 cents more and will hit large-engine petrol- dependent vehicles the hardest. Second were measures to reduce the cost of buying and owning an electric vehicle (EV). The lowering of the additional registration fee, reduction of road tax and other rebates will give an EV owner tax breaks of up to $45,000. A third move in the overall plan for a more energy-efficient transport system here came with the increased allocation of funds to set up 60,000 EV charging points around the island by 2030. The Government is setting aside some $30 million over the next five years for this.