A number of flood-damaged vehicles are crowding Macau’s underground car parks, reports the South China Morning Post, while parking spaces in the small city continue to command a premium.
The vehicles are in part a legacy of last year’s deadly Typhoon Hato, though the SCMP says some of them date from a decade ago, when Typhoon Hagupit struck southern China in 2008.
The government has introduced a compensation scheme whereby the owners of cars damaged during Typhoon Hato can receive a tax refund on a purchase of a replacement vehicle.
Speaking to the SCMP, lawmaker Au Kam San criticized the policy, explaining that it was not helpful in advancing the government’s aim to cut the number of vehicles in Macau.
“There are already too many cars in Macau, but this scheme requires citizens to get new vehicles in order to get the tax refund benefit,” he said. “Cash compensation would be a lot better.”
The issue comes in the context of a disparity between the number of vehicles in the city and the number of parking spaces, as well as transportation infrastructure that is struggling to handle the volume of cars during peak traffic hours.
Last week, the government proposed doubling fines from MOP300 to MOP600 to counter a rise in illegal parking.
But the move proved unpopular, with professional drivers in the city saying that the proposal was unfair as there were few legal parking options. They demanded that the government first improve the parking infrastructure and then consider raising the fines for lawbreakers.