The user already pays for it in the form of fuel (petrol, hydrogen or electricity), registration, insurance (CTP and regular), tolls and vehicle maintainence. So don't tell me that road users don't pay enough to use the roads because they do.Im not at all saying that. Road users, as a population, pay for the roads. But within that group, some users pay more than they should and some pay less than they should, based on the consumption of the road (i.e. damage) and congestion they incur when using the road. This impacts the decisions users make. By taking off the fuel tax, excess registration fees, tolls etc, and replacing it with a per km charge per vehicle, the use of the road will be better connected to the price people pay for it.
Though i feel I'm going round in circles by restating this.
I would like to know what users are paying more then they should and who aren't paying enough. The more you use the road, the more you have to pay in fuel, insurance and registration. Trucks pay a higher toll price then cars and if you don't use the car that much then the question should be why do you have a car. The solution is to make freight rail more competitive by building new straighter rail lines to make freight rail movement faster between the capitals and also regional areas.
Getting more freight on rail in regional areas is more important then getting passengers onto trains in regional areas.
My suggestion is for you to take a look at the IPA paper I linked to earlier, and also take a look at the findings from the Henry Tax Review - they explain the reason for road user charging. Essentially, the current charges are approximate charges at best, and are not directly linked to the road use. A really rough approximation might be going into hospital and paying a flat daily rate, instead of paying for the services that you actually use. People who have more X-rays etc are going to incur a higher cost than people who don't. Those having more X-rays pay less than they should, those having less X-rays pay more.
Road user charging reallocates who its being collected from (shuffling the deckchairs) such that the users of the road pay the amount that corresponds to the rate they use the road.
That report and thinking is wrong. It is clearly a pro road charging report and is written in such a way. It has no basis in fact.
Please explain how a tax on fuel is an approximate tax. The more fuel you use the more you pay and so the tax on fuel is a user pays system. Road charging is clearly just another way to slug road users. Your hospital analogy is incorrect and nothing at all like how road users pay at the moment.
If you don't use a car, then you don't need to own a car and then you don't need to pay for a licence, registration, insurance, fuel or tolls. So the current system is a user pays system.
Ok, lets have another go.
If you think the IPA paper is biased, then you need to refer to the Henry Tax Review, Harper Competition review and Commission of Audit Report. They contain information that I would consider far less biased. Particularly the first two.
The tax on fuel is a tax on fuel use - not
road use. Different vehicles use different amounts of fuel but may damage/consume the road in exactly the same way. A lower fuel consuming car will pay less tax than a higher fuel consuming one for the same damage/consumption on the road. See the problem? One is paying more than the other for the same road damage/consumption cost.
For trucks, my dad on the farm pays within his rego for a semi a fixed Road User Charge on top of the rego fee (this is in NSW). This is an average across vehicle types set under the current PAYGO system of charging for road use through the annual rego fees. It is not a specific charge for his actual use. He doesn't use it on the road a lot (say less than 500km per year) and so pays a lot more than he should (per km). If he was using it every day all day (and say did 1 million km per year), he would pay far less than he should (again on a per km basis).
Agreed. The hospital analogy was rough. It was intended to demonstrate the principle, which id say it does well.
The current system is a user pays system, i don't disagree, but it is poorly designed as some users pay less for the same thing. And others pay more. This distorts the market for road supply and demand. This leads to less than optimal road infrastructure investment decisions, it leads to less than optimal decisions for people to use road over other more efficient modes etc etc.
Im happy to try and keep explaining this, just keep asking me questions on this.