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Govt's first-car scheme slammed on social media
The government's first-car tax-rebate scheme appears to be a boon for the auto industry and oil and gas companies. So far, the project has drawn some 800,000 applicants, which will translate to another 800,000 cars on Bangkok's already busy streets.Bangkok residents, already suffering from bad traffic jams, are now furious about huge snarls on the roads and many have taken to voicing their complaints on the social-media network.
Facebook user Rungnapa Sukhmol said this first-car tax rebate scheme was nothing more than a political game because the price of fuel is continuing to rise.
Chirawat Sitarachiyanon said this first-car tax-rebate scheme did not really address the problem of transportation for people with no cars, because many people making use of this scheme already owned a car. He said the government should have introduced a rebate scheme for people's first house instead.
Nara Thip said this scheme was just a populist campaign that is only boosting consumerism rather than offering real benefits. Also, this scheme has made the city more polluted and is nothing more than a waste of tax revenue.
However, Anna Nattaya said there was nothing wrong with people taking advantage of this scheme as public transport, especially taxi service, in Bangkok was not safe, cheap or good.
Suphaphit Rujiput said it is only people who already have a car who are complaining about this first-car scheme, while Nunchavit Chaiyapaksopon said people who cannot afford a car should not join the scheme.
Somchai Ngamvannagul said that though he backed the scheme, he was dissatisfied by the lack of government measures to deal with the increase in cars on Bangkok roads. He said the government should have first set up measures to manage the traffic, parking system and the increase in pollution before granting tax-free cars to people.
Many Facebook users are saying this scheme was only offered to benefit a small group of people, not people across the country. Also, many are calling on the government to take more responsibility and solve the problems caused by the increase in car numbers, such as more traffic jams, lack of parking areas and environmental problems. Plus more cars means more oil consumption.
Twitter was also buzzing with comments about this scheme. For instance, @zhanpisshu said the government could have launched a proper public bus service instead of offering people a tax rebate on their first car, while @Oam_Oamm just put it down to pure and simple consumerism, saying it does nothing for the country's development.