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Algarve anti-toll campaigners fully behind proposed tourist tax

a22The Via do Infante Users’ Commission, CUVI, fully supports the Left Bloc proposal to fund the Algarve’s motorway from a regional tourist tax.

Whether the proposal is accepted as part of the 2018 State Budget, or not, the Commission continues to appeal to the Government to fulfill the pre-election promises made by the current prime minster, that the region would be rid of the tolls.

For the Users’ Commission, this is a good opportunity "to end once and for all the calamity that has plagued the region for almost six years," - the Via do Infante tolls were introduced on December 8, 2011 by the previous right wing coalition government, with the cheery support of the Socialist Party.

CUVI stated today that in addition to the serious damage that continues to affect the regional economy and mobility in the Algarve, one of the most damaging aspects is the number of road accidents on the ‘alternative’ EN125, which has become "a dangerous urban street with many deadly traps."

The Commission says that the remodeling of the EN125 between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António has not yet started and the work between Olhão and Vila do Bispo in the western Algarve, leaves much to be desired and has serious technical shortcomings.
 
In addition to the long tally of accidents, the Commission slammed "the ruinous and obscene PPP contract for the Via do Infante which makes the toll situation even more unbearable."

According to the Technical Unit for Project Monitoring, toll income from the Via do Infante was €14.8 million in the first half of 2017, but this only covered 43.5% of the contracted amount the State has to pay the private concessionaire under the terms of an agreement containing many secret clauses.The Treasury had to pay another €19.2 million to make up the €32 million that the concessionaire was due.

The annual subsidy for the private concession holder is around €40 million, which comes from taxpayers to “fill the pockets of the private sector.”

CUVI, one of the founders being Algarve Left Bloc MP, João Vasconcelos, says that both the opposition, governing party and its left wing support, have been presented with a good opportunity to abolish tolls by including a regional tourist tax in the 2018 State Budget.

Comments  

0 #5 Ed 2017-11-22 12:48
Quoting liveaboard:
The tourist tax may look attractive to voters, money from nowhere to pay out the crooks who seem to have us by the throat.
But it's money pulled out and sent away to who knows where, that might otherwise find its way into the local economy for a round or two before disappearing into foreign banks.
What is the cost of maintaining the highway? How much of the 40 million goes into mystery pockets?

Quoting Marie Hutchinson:
Can't understand if you get paid by money from tolls how you don't have any responsibility to service the road which you make millions from. Whoever was responsible for this should be made pay for there actions. Responsibility for actions is a word that seems to have disappeared from our society.
This was a Passos Coelho cost saving measure to 'renegotiate the PPP contracts' - which for the Via do Infante will end up costing the taxpayer far more.
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0 #4 Marie Hutchinson 2017-11-22 12:09
The highway from Faro to the Spanish Border is in a bad way it's the worst part of the road across the Algarve. I travel the highway from Spanish Border to the end of Motorway and both the Motorway & The EN125 is in a bad way. I don't know why I am paying tolls for such bad roads.
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0 #3 Marie Hutchinson 2017-11-22 11:42
Can't understand if you get paid by money from tolls how you don't have any responsibility to service the road which you make millions from. Whoever was responsible for this should be made pay for there actions. Responsibility for actions is a word that seems to have disappeared from our society.
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+2 #2 TT 2017-11-21 09:37
Quoting liveaboard:
The tourist tax may look attractive to voters, money from nowhere to pay out the crooks who seem to have us by the throat.
But it's money pulled out and sent away to who knows where, that might otherwise find its way into the local economy for a round or two before disappearing into foreign banks.
What is the cost of maintaining the highway? How much of the 40 million goes into mystery pockets?

The sad and even more incredible part is that it is still down to the State to pay for repairs to the crumbling highway.
So to answer your question - probably most of it!
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+2 #1 liveaboard 2017-11-21 09:15
The tourist tax may look attractive to voters, money from nowhere to pay out the crooks who seem to have us by the throat.
But it's money pulled out and sent away to who knows where, that might otherwise find its way into the local economy for a round or two before disappearing into foreign banks.
What is the cost of maintaining the highway? How much of the 40 million goes into mystery pockets?
Quote