Parliament Briefs : Private-hire licence applicants: 80% pass

Private-hire licence applicants: 80% pass

About 80 per cent of applicants have passed the private-hire car driver's vocational licence (PDVL), said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary.

There are no plans to conduct the PDVL test in other languages, as English is necessary for drivers to communicate with passengers as well as to navigate, he added.

In a separate written reply, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said about 40 per cent of the 54,000 private-hire drivers, as of March, have a post-secondary education.

Another 40 per cent have secondary school qualifications, while the remaining 20 per cent have primary school education or others such as the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications as their highest qualification.

More firms to be liable for tourism event tax

More businesses that benefit from key tourism events will be liable to pay tax to help defray the organising costs of these events, under changes to laws.

Currently, the Singapore Tourism Board has the power to collect such taxes from hotels, food establishments and public houses for specific tourism events which entail higher staging costs that use public funding.

Since 2008, it has been imposed only on gazetted hotels during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix period, collecting an average of $13 million a year.

In an effort to cover emerging products and services, other types of commercial entities may also be subject to the tax, following amendments to the Singapore Tourism (Cess Collection) Act, though there are no current plans to do so.

Over $1.3b disbursed to 450,000 Pioneers

About 450,000 Pioneers have benefited from the Pioneer Generation Package, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.

Over $1.3 billion has been disbursed from the $8 billion Pioneer Generation Fund as of May, he added. It works out to an average of $430 million disbursed annually. The fund balance is about $7.2 billion, inclusive of interest earned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2018, with the headline 'Parliament Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe