In an article entitled “Fuming over first-car scheme”, Pichaya Svasti presents her opinion against the government’s first-car scheme. Firstly, the author claims that the government’s first-car scheme has caused traffic more congested. The program allows new car buyers to claim tax rebates of up to 100,000 baht per vehicle per person. And as of Dec 12 more than 1.05 million new car owners have registered for tax rebates totaling 77.1 billion baht. According to Bangkok’s traffic getting worse, people not only Thais but also foreigners wondered why the government wanted more Thais to use personal cars instead of public transport and if the sum of rebated taxes money was not returned to the first-car buyers, it could be spent more effectively on improving public transport system like constructing more underground or sky train routes.
The author believes that the new cars from the scheme will cause more consumption of petrol and gas, air pollution and traffic problems. And this may stimulate the construction of more roads instead of public transportation.
Nevertheless, many people agree with the government’s first-car scheme saying that they need to use personal car to travel far since public transport is insufficient. Some others think the scheme will benefit the economy but actually it will benefit in the short run and unfortunately, it has not benefited all businesses because consumers have been saving money and spending more carefully to pay for their cars so they buy less of lifestyle products. At last, the author said that she decided to opt for public transport and bicycles. Her change will not only save her time and money but also make traffic less congested and the air less polluted even by a fraction.
First-car scheme under the Yingluck Shinawatra government allows first-time car buyers to claim tax rebates of up to 100,000 baht per vehicle per person. I strongly believe that the first-car scheme should not be blame. Some may say that the program causes more problems like traffic congestion and worsen pollution but I don’t think the program aggravates any problems to an unacceptable level and actually it’s beneficial because of the following reasons. Firstly, this policy will stimulate the economy.
Because of the program, over 1 million cars were sold. Secondly, the first-car scheme does not worsen Bangkok’s air pollution to severe level. You may know that first-car buyers not only live in Bangkok but also other 76 provinces of Thailand. Hence, it does not mean that over million cars under the policy are driven in Bangkok. And last but not least, first-car scheme is apparently a great opportunity for lower-middle class family to own car easier for improving their quality of life. They can travel far more convenient and some others may use their first car for commercial purpose. In conclusion, I think that the first-car scheme is beneficial and should not be blame because of 3 reasons above.